What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected. - Chief Seattle
This is the place to continue your journey with me to help you realize how every aspect of nature is an integral part of your life.
Great horned owls have the largest and widest distribution range of any American owl. They tend not to migrate, but remain as year round residents of their location.
They do not build nest, but take over nests like those of squirrels. Their feathering is such that they tend to blend in with their surrounding like the one in this photo.
While they are called Great Horned Owls, they do not have horns, but the feathers covering their ears stand up like horns.
Adults have little to fear from predators as they are very fierce. They have the ability to prey on other large predator birds which amazingly enough includes ospreys and peregrine falcons.
They have very strong talons and their grip does not let any prey to escape. In fact they often use their grip to crush the spine of their prey.
Once again out at Stick Marsh photographing the birds from the shoreline. The rookery is very active primarily with spoonbills, egrets and anhinga during breeding season.
Even though these egrets were hunkered in out of the wind, you still can get a sense by their plumage that it is breeding season.
The lesser scaup is a small North American diving duck also known as the little broadbill or bluebill.
These are small ducks approximately 16" in length. The males weigh about 1.8 lbs on average with the females a couple of ounces lighter.
They normally forage by sifting for mollusks and clams on the bottom mud. They also will dabble for seeds and other parts of aquatic plants.
This anhinga was returning to the rookery at Stick Marsh to seek refuge in the mangroves where all the birds are nesting during the February breeding season.
Normally I don't keep or share photos of birds flying away from where I stand to capture the photo. I much prefer shots that show off the eyes and the plumage.
In this case, however, I thought the semi-sideview was interesting as it displayed all the variations of color in this roseate spoonbill.