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Observations & Images
1 December 2007
Pre-Nesting Wildlife Encounters

A dark, dismal, and rainy day heralds the beginning of observations for the 2008 Osprey nesting season at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. At least four American Kestrels were observed like this one caught in the air moving to a new perch.
Images of Ospreys in the rain. No Osprey nesting activity was seen all day so the season has not begun yet but it is getting close. The only birds seen around the Osprey nests were Vultures hunkered down in the trees to weather out the storm. But over the mosquito impoundments a fair number of Ospreys were spending the morning like these pictured in the air or on a snag.
The habitat restoration to replace the old citrus groves on the Refuge with native Florida habitats is currently a popular place with Cattle Egrets who like to forage through the disturbed areas. Below right is a Cattle Egret with an insect it caught in the Guinea and/or Johnson grass that are invasive exotic plants found throughout the Refuge.
The Cattle Egrets were divided into two distinct groups. The images above all show the group actively foraging through the grass. In contrast was the second group seen here who stood passively by doing nothing. It was an interesting juxtaposition.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
www.lunarcabin.com - - - - www.ospreywatch.org