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PIC OF THE WEEK: 05/05/14 • PREVIOUS WEEKNEXT WEEKALL 2014 PICS

Bird Pic Of The Week

Roseate Spoonbill

(Platalea ajaja)

Where:St. Augustine, FL • Alligator Farm

Notes: Just before leaving on our most recent spring trip to FloridaI, I checked the internet for images that might inspire me . One such search was for Roseate Spoonbill chicks. But it was actually the lack of search results that provided inspiration for this photograph. Seeing only a couple of distant, scruffy images, peaked both my curiosity and imagination. I was sure such and unusual bird, would have equally as unusual offspring. Many of the larger wading birds such as Herons, Egrets and Storks nest in large colonies each breeding season, this is called a rookery. On the first day we arrived, I was pleased to find a few pairs of “Spoonies” at the rookery. They were deep in the Cypress and Palmetto, but one or two nests were at least fairly close. So I searched for a window between the branches, twigs and Palm fronds. The pairs seemed to be completing their nest building and one bird remained sitting on each nest nearly all of the time. Probably incubating eggs, but we were a bit too early for chicks. So after three days there we headed off to our next destination near Orlando. At the end of the week our return trip landed us back at St. Augustine, with about a half day for photography. Much to my surprise several of the Spoonbill nests had newborn chicks! It was as if many of the birds had laid their eggs, or perhaps started incubation, around the same time. This also meant that the chicks were no more that 3 days old. So I returned to the spot I had stood at a few days before and waited for the chicks to raise their heads. This nest had a total of four youngsters in it. The adult would lower its head and open its snoon-shaped bill, then the chicks would feed from regurgitated food located the small pouch at the base of its lower mandible. They were truly as out of the ordinary as I had expected; somewhere between white fuzzy cute and very strange.

Small Bird Photo 1

Small Bird Photo 2

iPhotoBirds Print Roseate Spoonbill (ROSP-H-2282)

Archival quality fine art print, standard size for easy framing, hand signed by the artist, with white matte, backing board and clear protective cover. Image cropping may vary slightly depending on print size.
Print Size: 5" x 7" (with 8" x 10" Matte) . . . $20.00
Print Size: 8" x 10" (with 11" x 14" Matte) . . . $40.00
Print Size: 11" x 14" (with 16" x 20" Matte) . . . $75.00

Shipping & Handling is $5.95 TOTAL PER ORDER (Domestic Priority US Mail), no matter how many items purchased. VA State sales tax applies.

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Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark III • Canon 600mm f-4 Prime IS L Series Lens • Gitzo 3531LS Tripod • Wimberly Head WH-101

Exposure: Shutter Speed = 1/2000 second • Aperture = f-5.6 • Exposure Mode = Aperture Priority • Focus Mode: One Shot • Lens (Focal) Length = 600 mm • ISO = 400 • Aprox. Camera Distance = ~05 Feet • Date Shot: 04-11-14

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