Big meal…

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This is not a technically good photo, but I was impressed with the appetite of this Great Blue Heron. In a span of about 15 minutes, I saw him catch and eat 4 of these large shad. I imagine these fish are alive when swallowed and it can’t be fun having them flopping around in your stomach.

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Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)…

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This bluebird is a common small thrush found in wooded areas around here. It is the state bird of Missouri and New York. Mainly an insect eater, but will take fruits and seeds when bugs are scarce. This one is a male, as the female is a little more drab.

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)…

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There are over 100 common names for the Northern Flicker. Among them are: Yellowhammer, clape, gaffer woodpecker, harry-wicket, heigh-ho, wake-up, walk-up, wick-up, yarrup, and gawker bird. Many of these names are attempts at imitating some of its calls. This female was pecking around on a tree, but flickers are the only woodpeckers that frequently feed on the ground”, probing with their beak.  Ants alone can make up 45% of their diet. They produce an antacid that lets them deal with the high acidity of ants.

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)…

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A very sociable bird. It’s interesting to see them perform their ‘broken wing’ act to lure predators away from their nest. While considered a shore bird, they are often found far away from water in fields and meadows.

Northern Shoveler…

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This species duck is named for its distinctive bill, which is well suited to skimming the surface for crustaceans and plankton. Also called spoony, smiling mallard, and poor man’s mallard. It too is considered a “dabbling” duck.

Great Egret…

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Gobbler…

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Safe for now. Don’t think it’s turkey season yet.

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