Welcome to my "Florida" blog

Being a third generation Florida native, I'm completely enamored with the diverse beauty of this gorgeous peninsula. For most of the year the weather is divine which makes exploring its unlimited nooks and crannies fun and easy.

Wherever I go I appreciate nature and the world around me. Come along with me as I share the places I visit and perhaps a few other amusements I find interesting along the way.

(FYI: Every post prior to January 1, 2009 was previously published and imported from my garden blog)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What Kind of Bird Is This?


Last February (2008) when Mr. Meems and I spent a long weekend to vacation at Bradenton Beach I got out to the beach one morning very early. I saw all the usual suspects foraging for breakfast. Just about the time I was wondering why I had sacrificed sleep to get up so early a very (very) large bird caught my attention flying over the water.

Honestly, I couldn't remember ever having seen one like this before. I took so many photos but it was never close enough to me. When I got home and played with a featured on my software that "stitches" several photos together this is what I ended up with.

When my computer crashed last June and I lost all my photos the individual photos of that vacation went down with the hard drive. Recently I was looking through some of my albums stored on Picasa and rediscovered this photo above. I must have uploaded it to my blog at some point or else it wouldn't be in Picasa. I don't upload anything to that service... Google automatically stores whatever is on the blog to Picasa.

Can you tell the size of its wingspan? At least 5 feet. It was a plunge diver. My best guess was a Brown Booby but supposedly they are rarely seen except in the Dry Tortugas. My next best guess is a juvenile Northern Gannet. It did fly along slowly, scanning the surface of the water. Then when it sighted something to eat it suddenly folded back its wings and plunged headfirst in the water. Statistics indicate a Northern Gannet's skull is reinforced to cusion the brain from the impact of diving.

Anybody else know? It was fascinating to watch and well worth that very early morning walk on the beach.

11 comments:

SophieMae said...

I thihk your gannet theory is right. Great shots! We see tha very occasionally. I think they're seen more often on the Atlantic coast... but don't quote me on that. 8-}

Have a JESUS-filled day! ^i^

SophieMae said...

memo to me... proof before publishing LOL!

Meems said...

Thank you, Sophie. I was hoping you would take a gander and let me know if you agreed. Always appreciate your expert eyes.

It was a magnificent bird. Too bad I don't have the individual photos. I'd not done the stitching thing with several photos before and haven't done it since but now I'm sure glad I had it uploaded to Picasa.

Randy Emmitt said...

Meems,

My thoughts are it is not a gannet. I know a lot of birds and I believe you might have one of the boobys. The curved wings make it into more of a seabird like a booby.

Meems said...

Randy,
I suppose birds can stray just as people can??? LOL
I did wonder that every photo I've seen of the booby its wings are straight out in flight...hmmmmm
Hopefully someone will be able to ID it positively.
thanks for your thoughts.

NT said...

Not sure, but this might be a possiblility

http://ontfin.com/Word/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/magnificent_frigatebird5.jpg

marmee said...

i have no idea but i love seeing your sewn together photos. so glad you still had some to share.

Bren said...

Thank you for sharing a little piece of heaven. It is cold and snowy up north in my garden and we are loving your garden blogs.
Happy Bloom Tuesday!

Meems said...

N.T.
You are so sweet to think about what bird this is. The Frigate is a very large bird but the giveaway trait on it is the split tail feathers. The thing that caught my attention with the bird I photographed was its very thick head... which takes me back to the Gannet... hmmmm... I sure would like to know.

Marmee,
Thanks. It was fun to do --- I'll have to try it again-- maybe with a garden photo. It could give a vision of say the entire back yard... or front ... or side... LOL

Bren,
Thank you so much for stopping by. We can keep you in green all year long down here. LOL

SophieMae said...

I sent it to my resident birdbrain and he says gannet, for sure. You might try posting it on gardenweb's birdng forum. Did you know, BTW, that boobies and gannets are members of the same family?

Meems said...

Sophie,
Thanks so much for enlisting your resident expert. I'm leaning that direction with my tiny bit of knowledge. I hope I can take the time to try the birding forum... looks like a fun place. Just not enough time in the day for everything it seems. No, I didn't know about the family thing. But as always I like to learn from folks in the know. :-)