Odd Bird Life

Snowy Egrets are elegant shore birds with plumy white feathers and black bills and legs. Bright yellow feet pattern-interrupt the elegant impression only when said feet are visible, and they’re usually below the water. However, I came along behind two Snowy Egrets at the edge of Braes Bayou when they were avidly investigating whatever goodies the recent flood had churned up, and from that perspective the Snowies looked like the business ends of Q-tips balanced on oddly angled black wires!

The last six or eight months have been remarkable for shore birds on Braes Bayou, including White Ibises and a Tricolor Heron.  For a while there was a Roseate Spoonbill in the vicinity of the Kirby Drive bridge.  Roseate Spoonbills are usually Pepto-Bismol pink;  they use their wide-tipped bills to forage in mud flats for little crustaceans, eating which makes their feathers pink.  The one on Braes Bayou looked not very pink and rather misplaced.  I’ve seen them  in tidal marshes and on Clear Creek near Galveston Bay, never this far inland.  The drought may have driven brackish water much further up the waterways than usual.

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