Welcome to wading birds in the Natural History Room
of the Florida Keys Cybermuseum
This is a very large bird with wing spans 5 to
6 feet. When feeding, it will usually keep its head down and slowly walks
forward. It is graceful in flight and will often soar very high on thermals.
The Spoonbill is often mistaken for the Flamingo
of another family. Its back and neck are almost white, but the give away
is its flat, spoonlike bill. When feeding it sweeps its bill laterally
from side to side.
This is a very tall bird, Florida's largest white
heron and restricted in its range. It is easily distinguished from the
egret by its yellow bill and yellowish legs. The Great Egret also has a
yellowish bill though, but blackish legs.
The Osprey is Florida's only raptor that plunges
feet first into the water to grab its food. It is often mistaken for the
Bald Eagle because of its white head, especially when only its head is
seen in the nest. Note the tail of the Osprey is not white, but its breast
is. It is also about 2/3rds as large as the Bald Eagle. The female is noticeable
larger when seen side by side.
Shown here running, the Ruddy Turnstone here appears
not to be squat and robust as he actually is. Their legs are quite reddish
and the collar almost black at times. He is usually found along rocky shorelines.
- WADING BIRDS -
This page by Jerry Wilkinson
There are many wading birds in the Florida Keys. These are just a few.
Reference and sources:
Florida's Fabulous Waterbirds, Winston Williams (Author
and Photographer) - 1983, World Wide Printing, Tampa, Florida
A Field Guide to the Birds - Roger Peterson - 1980, Houghton,
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