Sunday, September 11, 2011

So Juvenile

Sometimes, there are so many birds to photograph on Biscayne Bay on any given morning that it is like an endless buffet, all you can eat. Last weekend proved to be that; and now, one week later, I am writing my fourth and final blog entry describing my fun with the birds that weekend. While the gulls and the great white egrets served as main courses, the handful of juvenile ibises and little blue herons were the soup de jour. Almost always available to photograph, I find the juvenile LBH to be more beautiful than its adult counterpart. This is likely due to the difficult distinction between an adult LBH and its surroundings on the bay; whereas the juvenile LBH stands out with its white (soon to turn blue) feathers. They also tend to be less shy and allow me to drift close. Here are a couple photos from that weekend and a couple more from previous days. Interestingly, the first two photos are the same bird taken on separate days.

The juvenile white ibis is also quite beautiful. Opposite to the LBH, the juvenile stands out less so on the grassy waters compared to the adult. But this can vary depending on the juvenile's development stage. While the youngest of them present mostly brown feathers, the older juvenile contains more white feathers. But making them more beautiful is how the brown and white feathers intermingle. It appears the head and neck are the last of the feathers to turn white. It also appears that the brown feathers turn white but leave a darker outline along the edges of the feather, leaving a pattern that you do not see in a fully grown ibis. Here are a couple photos for the weekend.

And just for comparison, here are adult versions.

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