Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chamberlain St.

There is a huge egret problem on a residential street in my city. Nightmare-ish almost. You can read more about it here.

So you'd think after three visits to Chamberlain St. where the egrets haven taken over that I'd come away with at least one perfect photo. Ha! With burning eyes and throat, poop running down my arm (and who knows where else), and my neck aching from looking up so high, it's been quite a challenge to say the least. In addition to those issues there's the dense foliage to contend with, where leaves or limbs get in the way of the shot. Also, the birds move to higher elevations once my presence is detected. In addition to ALL THAT, the biggest, meanest bugs ever are using me as their own personal buffet table. Good thing my dream of working for National Geographic Magazine is just that: a dream. I really don't think I could hack it in the rainforest. :) These photos are not perfect, but good enough to post. Better viewed large.
This is the first Cattle Egret I saw at a pond near the overrun street. He has a broken wing which I don't have the heart to post. He's been sitting in the tree for 3 days at least. I don't know how he is eating or how he will continue to survive. I just can't think about it too much. 
Cattle Egret
Double D looking up at the chaos. Notice the white poop on the leaves and limbs. That can't be good.
I'm pretty sure this is a Little Blue Heron fledgling OR it could be a Black-crowned Night Heron fledgling
Mating. You can see the breeding colors in the one on the left - the beak gets reddish-puple around the eyes.

Snowy egret

Not sure what this is--doesn't have the plumage of the Snowy but it's not big enough to be the Great White Heron.
Cattle Egret with breeding colors 
I'm fairly certain that this is a juvenile Little Blue Heron - from what I can discern from the internet the juveniles are white with green legs.  
Cattle Egret 
Little Blue Heron-breeding adult 
Black-crowned Night Heron
This is a shy little guy. I tried from every angle to get a better shot, but failed. I don't like that his beak is partially obscured by the tree. 
The family 
Just what you want to see--more Cattle Egrets mating
Guarding the nest. 
In full breeding plumage

33 comments:

missing moments said...

Incredible photos .... such perseverance you have ... but look what you came out with!

Now, go take a soak bath! :-)

texwisgirl said...

i'm impressed that all the various types of herons/egrets will co-exist in one area like that. i think that one you questioned has got to be a snowy egret. white plumage, black legs and yellow feet.

you got some great shots! i can't imagine the mess on some of those folks' cars, yards, etc. whitewash!

Kittie Howard said...

Your patience and determination were rewarded. Gorgeous photos, Gail. I especially love the second one. That sky is amazing!

Autumn said...

You took some amazing photos! What an awesome opportunity.

Evelyn S. said...

Wow, Gail...these are such fabulous photos. They show the detail of each bird as I haven't seen before. The colors of those egrets....so beautiful.

dorisrudddesigns said...

Wonderful bird shots! My favorite is the one about half way down. The one you weren't sure of the breed. Amazing clarity.

Shug said...

Hi Gail....

In my mind, I am picturing the agony that you endured to capture these beatuiful pictures for us...

When we go to the farm, I see the cattle egrets riding on the backs of the cows...Our grandkids are so entrigued by them...

I do love the pictures!

Blessings,
shug

Barbara said...

These are amazing! So many varieties in one spot - it just seems so unusual, especially in a neighborhood! Your shots are NG worthy, I think! That first one breaks my heart, though.

joco said...

Hiya Gail,

This is phenomenal.
You deserve that gorgeous lens :-)

I hope you are going to contribute this post to Springman's World Bird Wednesday ( going up Tuesday noon).
They will all love it.

Sorry to hear of your family health worry.
Take care.

joco said...

Didn't mean to be anonymous. Don't know what happened.

Susan said...

Oh my...these are just some INCREDIBLE shots!! Love each one.

What type of lens did you shoot them with?

Love it...

Tricia said...

My goodness, these are beautiful shots & I love the blue sky background... but I'm so sorry about the one w/ the broken wing... I guess it's just the cycle of life, but I HATE to see any animal suffering!!!

Now, I'm off to read the article... I want to know sooo many are there & what's going on w/ them! =)

Tricia said...

It doesn't say why they are there... If only a few had been there in years past, why are sooo many there now? I'm not understanding!

I like to keep an eye on these kinds of things just to see what's changing out there in the world...

Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

Amazing photos, the colors and clarity are perfecto!!

That must be one toxic street with all that bird poop, lol!

Hugs, Nadine

beth said...

these are beyond fantastic.....but oh to have all the bird poop everywhere.....it must be disgusting if you live right there, right ?

are the rooftops covered in poop too....the lawns, the driveways and sidewalks ?

Pat said...

Beautiful birds and fabulous photos! I have to echo the previous commenter and ask if this is an annual gathering, with all these birds nesting in one place, or is it a phenomenon?

Andy said...

Ah, what photographers will do for a photo...bird poop and all! Maybe an umbrella is in order for the next visit! ;)
Excellent set of photos.

lisa said...

These are great photographs Gail, but this also sounds like a real problem (from the article). Do you know why they have chosen this particular place to settle? Truly interesting.

Isn't it amazing what we will do for "the shot??"
I LOVE it!

Hilary said...

These are wonderful images.. and so many varieties. How distressing it must be though for the folks in this neighbourhood to have to deal with this invasion of birds. I can't imagine the mess and frustration. That injured bird... the article to which you linked said that they come around to remove injured and dead birds. I wonder if you could report its whereabouts and they could remove and rehabilitate it.

courtney said...

Awesome! Just truly amazing, Gail. Your pictures are a testament to how much you have learned - and your passion for photography is seen in each and every one of your posts! Love you!

Jillsy Girl said...

that third one from the last makes me think of a white vampire for some reason! spectacular captures!

*Honest Abe said...

In spite of the dirty deeds, the birds are beautiful and only doing what comes naturally. It wasn't that many years ago when people squatted and relieved themselves on the spot. It was a time before cities and city fathers and ordinances and rules and regulations. Actually, I think it is funny. I didn't know so many different kinds of egrets and herons were around.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Amazing pictures...I have never seen so many egrets in one place and Blue Herons too. It must be wonderful, but also problematic. My they are beautiful!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

What fantastic bird photos, i like egrets but then they are not a problem here, just a few around.

A Rosy Note said...

Wow Gail, you got some great shots. Those birds sure are beautiful, but boy, I'd hate to live right there. I feel so sad for that one that is injured. Do you have a raptor center in your area? We have one at the university here and if you call, they'll come out and get the injured bird and rehabilitate it.

septembermom said...

Gail, I'm amazed at the vivid life you bring to your photography subjects. Amazing once again!!!

Michelle said...

It's interesting how they all come together like that. I can imagine the trouble you went through to get the picutres...but oh...wow...what incredible pictures you got!!! They are definitely worthy of being in a notable magazine such as National Geographic.

Btw: The current photo challenge for Birds and Blooms magazine is "Big." Since egrets are big, you could enter one of your photos (the hard part would be deciding which one).

hootnonny said...

Hi Gail, I thought I had commented on this post...probably did but Blogger has been awful to me lately!

Your shots are truly awesome! And how brave was Double D looking up! Hope he kept his mouth closed!

Tina said...

Wonderful shots, love the variety that you've captured. Especially love the brilliant blue sky background in the one. And all that poop...what a big mess and I wonder what the sound would be like. You are a brave woman to stand under all those birds and looking upwards.
Enjoy your weekend.

Kamana said...

wow these are incredible!

bluntdelivery said...

ok... those are some beautiful, yet crazy looking birds!

birds have always kinda scared me. i dated a guy who had a parrot and i couldn't handle it. his beady little eyes glaring at me. heh.

Kerri said...

These are super!

mamatronic said...

This is crazy!! I didn't know about it until reading your post. You are Nat Geo material, Gail- 3 visits to this street? I really enjoyed your shots and all the info about the birds. I see them here and there, but know so little. I wonder if a flock will migrate there every year from now on?