This past Saturday I took my kayak out in the Indian River Inlet Bay again. There are a pair of American Oystercatchers that appear to be nesting on the same island where some Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls are nesting. Unfortunately the likelihood of any of their kids surviving around those gulls is little to none.

I love the colorful eyes and bills of the oystercatchers. These pictures would have been better with a little fill flash to light up the bird but I still like the way the bill is illuminated by the backlighting.
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This Laughing Gull isn’t happy because another gull is flying too close to her nest. I love how red their bills get when they’re in their breeding plumage.
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Since the wind wasn’t bad, I decided to check out the man-made rookery on the other side of the bay. This is what it looks like…
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At first I didn’t realize that there were a couple dummy birds built into the structures so the white bird on the left really had me going for a while when a Great Egret landed near it. I thought it was a giant Snowy Egret until I got out my binoculars for a closer look!

There are all kinds of birds nesting on this island. In addition to herons and egrets, there are American Oystercatchers, Willets, Common Terns, Clapper Rails and I saw a pair of Black Skimmers but I don’t know if they’re nesting or not. I saw one fuzzy black Clapper Rail chick.

I saw a Great Egret in the water and I thought maybe he was just cooling off like I’ve seen Great Blue Herons do but when he didn’t fly away after some boats and jet-ski’s went by fairly close I decided to check him out. At first he was in the water and had his head up.
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Right before I got over to him I saw a jet-ski either run over him or go by pretty darn close. Don’t ask me how you don’t see a large white bird in the water in a “slow, no-wake” zone! Anyway, by the time I got to the bird, he was totally immersed in the water…even his head. I thought for sure he was dead but I put him in my kayak and took him to shore to check him out. He didn’t move at all so I was going to leave him but then I saw his chest moving so I put him back in my kayak and paddled back to the other side of the bay.

The bird didn’t move at all on the trip back across the bay. When I picked him up to put him in my car he moved his head a little and by the time I got him to Tri-State Bird Rescue, he was moving his head and neck around fairly well! He had minor surgery on Sunday and seems to be doing fairly well all things considered. I’m hoping he’ll make a full recovery and I’ll get to release him back in the bay!

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