Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SNAIL KITES

We went to West Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Vero Beach to photograph Snail Kites.  Last year I went twice and only got a few females and immatures.  We arrive around 7:30 AM as the sun was just starting to come up.  There must have been 10-15 kites with a mix of males and females.  These are tropical birds that feed almost exclusively on apple snails.  They spot them hovering above the water and pluck them out with their talons by dipping their legs in.  This wastewater plant has a series of treatment ponds that must be great habitat for the snails.  Below is what we picked up in a couple of hours of shooting.  Males are slate gray and females brown and white.  Adults have orange/red legs and immatures have yellow legs.



Black-crowned Night-Heron

Blue-winged Teal





















Sandhill Crane

River Otter mom with two youngsters