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Over Lake O.......

I had a chance for a unique opportunity yesterday. To ride along with some FWC biologists deep into the wetland flats into the protected area of the lake, as Snail Kite nesting area. It was a long day. An 800 shot day. Just a few shots for your viewing. Only about 1000 Snail Kites left,in three primary areas of Florida, which is an increase of about 200.

1. Black-necked Stilts

gSfJTxGl.jpg

2. A male Kite looking for its next Apple snail.

wZjheOul.jpg

3. A female Kite doing the same. Looking and looking.

MkV8FwOl.jpg

4. Success! Shot of the day. A female just after lift off.

ZKapJ2ul.jpg

Replies

  • JWTJWT Posts: 788 Officer
    gorgeous set of shots.... with a real kicker at the end! i didn't realize they were so endangered..
  • eorlandoeorlando Posts: 560 Officer
    What an awesome opportunity. Lucky you...I am definitely envious!
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    BTW, these we not shot in the best light yesterday, and I was testing the Nikkor 200-500mm. All photos were shot hand held from a bobbing airboat.

    If you don't own big heavy glass and you are a Nikon shooter, then the 200-500mm is a lens to own for hand held shooting. I like the two step VR.

    My only complaint is I wish Nikkor would have made it 300-600mm not 200-500mm. With that said, it is probably more useful at 200-500mm around the football and soccer fields and the racetrack at the given length.
  • Keep on SpoolinKeep on Spoolin Posts: 1,359 Officer
    Those are some nice images.
  • MenziesMenzies Posts: 19,289 AG
    Very nice WE.

    Question, are there any bald eagle habitats down there, or not enough canopy?
    Maybe if we tell people that the brain is an App, they will start using it.
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,397 Captain
    BTW, these we not shot in the best light yesterday, and I was testing the Nikkor 200-500mm. All photos were shot hand held from a bobbing airboat.

    If you don't own big heavy glass and you are a Nikon shooter, then the 200-500mm is a lens to own for hand held shooting. I like the two step VR.

    My only complaint is I wish Nikkor would have made it 300-600mm not 200-500mm. With that said, it is probably more useful at 200-500mm around the football and soccer fields and the racetrack at the given length.

    My copy will be delivered tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it for sure.

    Awesome shots for sure.
  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,395 Officer
    Eagles are a common sight around the North side of L. Okeechobee, along with ospreys. Remember that until a few years ago FL and AK had the majority of the Eagle populations of the U.S.; they're coming back now in other states; good deal! Fish are their primary food source so anywhere around water is an expected habitat.
  • JI SnookJI Snook Posts: 676 Officer
    Very nice shots!
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    Menzies wrote: »
    Very nice WE.

    Question, are there any bald eagle habitats down there, or not enough canopy?

    Yes, there are B.E.s I usually see three or four. The biologists told me they saw seven on Thursday. However, I did not see one Saturday sort of weird.
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    I processed a few more.

    1. A floating female searching.

    oQA3d7bl.jpg

    2. A different female hunting.

    WdQX8EWl.jpg

    3. I rarely show "butt shots" but I will make an exception this time. Notice the water falling off the snail and the water spray in the air.

    ralERsTl.jpg

    4. Last one. A third female or maybe the same one in #2 above a little later on another trip of the flat.

    pMg23ptl.jpg
  • mississippi macmississippi mac Posts: 4,222 Captain
    Craig,
    what a great piece of luck to get invited into a closed area...
    remarkable images as well...

    tim
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The Real White Dog

    if you can't catch a fish...catch a buzz....
    #12976, joined 8-17-2002
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,397 Captain
    Are those native or invasive snails you think?
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    Chuckc wrote: »
    Are those native or invasive snails you think?

    The Biologists tell me there are two species of Apple Snails, on native and the other non-native. They report that FWC is tolerating the non-native species until the Snail Kite recovers to the target threshold number. They believe it will be tough to get rid of the non-native species without impacting the native species population. That is why they tolerate the non-native species.
  • ScoutboatScoutboat Posts: 2,570 Captain
    A unique bird!
    Their beak has evolved perfectly to feed on snails.
    Nice pix, thanks.
    Jim
  • GlennGlenn Tallahassee, FLPosts: 1,766 Captain
    I thought Snail Kites were all White?
  • redsgurlredsgurl Posts: 610 Officer
    very nice set, and i just love the kites.
    Suz


    Capybara's are vicious and should not be let alone with small children. In-laws are another matter.............
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,397 Captain
    Glenn wrote: »
    I thought Snail Kites were all White?

    Swallow tail and Mississippi kites are mostly white i think.
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