Strutting their stuff

Strutting their stuff

Two male goldeneyes working hard to impress a female in the late afternoon light. These guys will likely only be around here a few more weeks. As spring arrives most of the waterfowl leave my area. Their yearly coming and going gives rhythm to life. Have a great trip north and someday I hope to join you.

Sneaking by.


This guy almost got away with it. While we were photographing a bison in front of us this guys came slinking behind us trying as hard as possible not to be noticed but alas we got a glimpse of him in the corner of our eye. He sure was trying hard and the look in his eyes whispered to us…You don’t see me.

White-winged Crossbill

A female White-winged Crossbill rests close to their next meal on a fine winters day. Crossbill and their namesake bills are specialized to feed on conifer seeds. Prying open open the cone scales and then extracting the seeds with their tongues a single Crossbill can consume up to 3,000 seeds per day. Crossbill often travel in large flocks and seek out numerous species of conifer seeds just as they are ready to consume.

Crossbill typically are nomadic and wander across the boreal forests in search of food. Large Flocks containing up to 10,000 individuals have been reported to move through an area in a single day.

A wonderful and specialized bird and one in need of study as climate change descends upon the boreal forests they call home.


 Benkman, C. W. (2020). White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.

One by one.

A Yellow-throated Toucan picking figs , although we took a fancy to calling them Milk-Duds, and knocking them back one-by-one.

Reach over and pluck a fig from the tree.

Looks like a good one.

Down the hatch it goes.

Quite tasty indeed. Perhaps I’ll have another.

We watched this one Toucan foraging for a good twenty minutes until they got their fill and boy, they could sure eat their fill indeed.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

A dapper Yellow-crowned Night Heron along the edge of a costal marsh patiently waiting for their next meal (preferentially crab) to appear. These wonderful birds breed in coastal and inland lowlands, wooded swamps, mangroves, and lagoons. Feeding and foraging areas almost always are associated with high concentrations of crustaceans, their food of choice.

This bird preening which is a common behavior after foraging and feeding. Full adult plumage like that in birds we photographed this day may take 3-4 years to develop. Along the way Yellow-Crowned Night Herons may display 4-5 distinct plumages.

Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron foraging in brackish waters.


Watts, B. D. (2020). Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron

The Bare-throated Tiger Heron is a medium sized heron common to Central America. They are somewhat bulky and shaped a bit like a night-heron or Bittern with distinct baring and rufous on their breast.

This individual was displaying a behavior that indeed reminded us of the American Bittern.

The Bare-throated Tiger Heron forages along costal zones, brackish water and in inland marshes and swamps feeding mainly eating fish, frogs and crustaceans but has been known to consume small rodents.

Like many other Herons the bare-throated Tiger Heron hunts by remaining motionless and quickly striking when prey appears.


Martínez-Vilalta, A., A. Motis, and G. M. Kirwan (2020). Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.