Adding to My Life List

Birders (or people who love looking for and documenting birds) most often keep a life list.  A life list is exactly like it sounds it would be--a checklist of birds one has seen throughout their lifetime.  The most avid birders will travel specifically in hopes of spotting a bird.  The rest of us just happily check off the ones we come across knowing we will never see them all.  We just enjoy keeping track of the species we have seen and where. 

When I awoke this morning, I thought that by the end of the day my SD card would be filled with photos of my kids and space shuttles and rockets. But one of the first things I saw on our way to the Kennedy Space Center was a bird I'd never seen before. I thought at first that it was a cormorant based on the way it was posed drying its outstretched wings. Turns out there's another species that dries its feathers in the "bat pose" and it is called an anhinga. Like the cormorant, the anhinga's feathers do not repel water and so they must dry them after a swim. Isn't he beautiful?

It was during our visit that we learned the Kennedy Space Center is part of a national wildlife refuge. After leaving the visitor center, we spent about an hour this evening at the Canaveral National Seashore Wildlife Refuge. During this short visit I saw three species I've never seen in person before--how exciting for me! The first was a belted kingfisher perched in a branch overhanging one of those drainage canals. Next we drove through a portion that was posted a "scrub jay nesting area." And we saw four of them! I was able to get a photo of one at sunset on our way out, but it's just the silhouette. I hope I'll see more of these during our visit.

Finally, while I was hoping to photograph a scrub jay, this little bird perched in a bush near our car. This is another beautiful resident of the refuge, a palm warbler.

palm warbler

I wish I could have been able to photograph the kingfisher, but there was too much traffic behind us and nowhere to pull off. That's one I'll just have to remember with my mind's eye.

If you enjoy animal photos, head over to Camera Critters for more great posts.

Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published on Feb. 7, 2009 and has been updated for accuracy.


Bruce said…
very nice birdie pictures!!! I LIKE birds:)
Great shot on the birds! And what a great blessing to see a wonderful bird greeting you good morning.

My CC post is here. Happy weekends!
WOW! what luck with the birds today. :) good for you!
Happy CC!
drewmark19 said…
I feel kind of bad. I just don't notice birds. Either there aren't any around us (doubtful) or I need to start paying more attention! Your photos inspire to take more notice of my surroundings. You really have a nack for taking beautiful photos of birds and wildlife.
Carolina said…
Great pictures again ;-)
Dianne said…
great shots, I love the little guy - wonderful colors
Tammy said…
What gorgeous shots!
Laura said…
you go adrienne! i can show you belted kingfishers all day long here where we live. the love the lakes here (obviously!) as do the osprey and eagles!! here is florida you will have a large time adding to your life list! i hope we can find some treasures at bok tower tomorrow...we're still on, right? i'll call you later this afternoon! =)
Babooshka said…
Spectacular wing display top shot and fantastic catch on the warbler. I here them, don't see them
June said…
You can tell the difference between anhingas and comourants quickly by looking at their beaks. Anhingas' are pointy and comourants are hooked downward. Great gets by the way!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
theArthurClan said…
Beautiful photos Adrienne! I am like Andrea, I never even notice the birds. You take amazing photos of them though.
Misty Dawn said…
How absolutely AWESOME!!! I'm lovin' your bird photos! That first bird is really, really cool.

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