Friday, March 28, 2008

Florida is for the birds


One striking thing about Florida is the birds. I'm not sure what they are, but they're not the kind of birds you see in the northeast or in Hawai`i.

I think these are brown pelicans:



They are very common by the water, and very large. They seem to like to hang out by bridges (where they are often nailed by cars). I saw them flying around the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which is quite high.

I really love that bridge, BTW. It's magnificent. I ended up driving over it and back twice, going to games at Knology Park and Bright House Field. I was kind of disappointed it wasn't all lit up at night, though I guess it's better for the environment that it isn't.

I was surprised there wasn't an escort area, for people who are too scared to drive across. IME, this type of bridge is the worst for those who are afraid of heights. The superstructure is all in the center; it doesn't "enclose" the bridge deck. And it's very high in the middle with a steep ascent and descent, almost like a roller coaster. (I imagine so ships can pass underneath.) I'd expect at least some people to completely freak out trying to drive over this bridge.

These photos were taken by the shore in Sarasota, in a little park by the water. Not sure what kind of birds they are. Egrets?





I even saw some wild peacocks. Yes, peacocks. I pulled into the parking lot of an office building to turn around. In back, there was a big drainage canal. I looked in, hoping to see an alligator. No gators, but there was a flock of peacocks.



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

So interesting to read of your trip to Florida, my wife and I were in St. Pete Beach the same week. We are naturalists and birdwatchers; the most interesting bird in your photos is the Black Crowned Night Heron which is in the photo with egrets and the bridge in the background.

We spent a lot of time at Myakka River State Park southeast of Sarasota, we kayaked with gators there which was especially fun for my wife. A very beautiful place, we loved our Florida vacation and plan to go back for a spring fling again next year.

Thanks for all your great work over on TOD; best hopes for continued memorable vacations in a fossil-fuel constrained world.

Wade
Providence, RI

Leanan said...

Thanks, I was wondering what kind of bird that was.

I wanted to visit Myakka State Park, but somehow never got around to it.

They have bicycle tours on nights of the full moon that sound like a lot of fun. The moon wasn't full when I was there, but they do owl-watching on other nights.

Philip said...

hey, i didn't realise anybody else had pelicans! i thought they were as aussie as kangaroos!

cheers
phil.