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Willet

Willet

Photographed at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on November 19, 2009. Another beautiful day. There are still very few migrants.

Whatbird: Large sandpiper with mottled gray-brown upperparts, white rump and lightly streaked and barred white underparts. Broad white stripes on black wings are visible in flight. Tail is white with dark brown tip. Legs are blue-gray. Sexes are similar. Winter adult is plain gray-brown above and white below.

Breeds from central Canada to northeastern California and Nevada and along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts south from Nova Scotia. Spends winters along coasts from Oregon and the Carolinas southward. Preferred habitats include mud banks, tides, coasts and coastal lagoons.

White Pelicans

American White Pelicans

Whatbird: Huge, white seabird with enormous outstretched wings showing black primaries and outer secondaries in flight. Bill and legs are bright orange and upper bill develops a fibrous keel during breeding season. Winter adult is duller and lacks keel on bill. Juvenile has gray bill and brown wash on head and neck.

Breeds from British Columbia and Mackenzie south to northern California, Utah, and Manitoba; also breeds along the Gulf Coast. Spends winters in the southern U.S. south to Panama. Preferred habitats include shallow lakes and coastal lagoons.

The bill can hold 3 gallons of water, and after the fish have been caught the bill is pointed downward allowing the water to drain, and then the bill is raised and the bird swallows.

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Whatbird: Breeds from Alaska east to Labrador and south to New Jersey, Missouri, and northern Mexico. Spends winters regularly north to southeastern Alaska and Massachusetts. Found in salt marshes, grasslands, tundra, mountain meadows, sandy regions, and short-grass prairies.

It is named after Savannah, Georgia, where one of the first specimens of this bird was collected.

Salt Marsh Grass

Salt Marsh Grass

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers

American Aligator

American Aligator

Click on Photos to Enlarge.

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