Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What Is It?

OK, so I'm making myself a quick sandwich for lunch and I glance out the window and I see this bird on my backyard fence. And I think to myself, "Self, what the heck is that?" It's a rather large bird, not like duck-sized but larger than I'm used to seeing around the neighborhood. It looks young and acts tentative. I watch it for a moment or so and then I notice there's a second one nearby. I grabbed my cell phone which was the only camera I had with me and I took a couple quick shots. They seemed to be content to just be hanging out where they were so I thought, "What the heck, run for the D!"

Much to my delight I managed to grab my 60D, put on my long zoom lens, and get back down to the kitchen in time to get off some more shots. Here is one with its neck extended. You can really see the speckled throat here.

Then the one joined the other on the fence rail and the two of them posed nicely for a picture. I actually managed to take about 30 quick pics of them before they flew off into a tree. Wouldn't you know it, I took my Michigan bird guide back to St Joe last weekend. I did a quick search on the internet, and then another, and another. I can't figure out what kind of birds these are. Any guesses?

(BTW, these particular pics were taken with The D not my cell phone. ;-)


  1. Some friends who know a LOT more about this than I suggest that this is a double crested Cormorant, immature.

    See link here


    They have a photo that looks almost identical.

  2. Hmmm...but there is no "hook" at the end of the bill, and the tail is quite short relative to body length. My flash id was American Bittern, and the immature looks very similar to the adult. See Cornell's All About Birds website: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Bittern/id
    Beautiful shots, btw. :)

  3. Yes! The American Bittern does look much like it! Thanks so much for the help!!! I did look at Cornell's site as well as the Google Images of it and I do believe that's what I saw. They appear to prefer swampy habitats. We don't have any swampy areas in the immediate vicinity but we have a large swamp area about a mile away. I'm guessing that's where they came from. Yeah! Thank you, D. Kay! :-)