Monday, June 30, 2008

Return to Golden Shores

I made a quick trip back to Golden Shores to see if I could get any better "action shots" of birds in the wild.

And what a day it was!

Lots of foraging snowy egrets:
Snowy egret, Egretta thula-Landing 3

A great blue heron:
Great blue heron, Ardea herodias_0036

Quite a few caspian terns:
Caspian terns

It's great to watch these guys hover and dive for fish!
Hovering tern and egret, Port in background
(The industrial areas of the harbor make quite a backdrop for Golden Shores!)

A juvenile black-crowned night heron was hanging out in a nearby tree:
Juvenile black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
They do look kind of awkward perched like that, but they are quite at home there! Most of these wading birds start there lives in tree-bound rookeries. They nest in huge aggregations of multiple species. In fact, most of the herons and egrets you see were born in just a small number of areas. Protecting these few trees--even in highly urbanized areas--is critical to preserving the species for vast parts of the globe.

The highlight of the day was (for me!) an osprey that was soaring up the LA River!

These sea-eagles (as they are sometimes called) feed extensively on fish, and so few of the other birds took notice of this guy, as he was no threat to them.

Osprey at Golden Shores wetlands
In this photo, you can see how little the snowy egret cares about the osprey flying within a few feet of him!