Wading birds like herons, egrets, and spoonbills will always save the day when you just want to get some pictures of birds. They stand out in the open, don’t move around as much as small birds, are big, and always make striking portraits. Recently, I had a very pleasant day of bird photography at Laguna Madre that included looks at dozens of waterbirds, seeing several herons catch fish, and even spotting a Wood Stork.
The Great Blue Heron is our largest heron species and a formidable predator. Tricolored Herons are a bit smaller and have a longer bill. They tend to stalk through wetlands with a hunched posture and are recognized by their white belly and long bill.
Compared to the Tricolored, the bill of the Yellow-crowned Night Heron is much more stout. It uses that smaller, thicker bill to catch and eat crabs and other crustaceans.
One of the smallest heron species is also one of the most beautiful. The Green Heron can be seen in a wide variety of wetlands in much of the country and is a common bird in south Texas.
Wood Storks pass through the area but I rarely get a chance to photograph them. This one caught a pretty big fish!
The prettiest bird in the marshes and lagoons of South Texas is the Roseate Spoonbill. Although sometimes referred to as flamingos on account of their lovely pink, white, and orange plumage, Roseate Spoonbills are much more closely related to Ibises.
Although I didn’t see so many shorebirds at the lagoon, Spotted Sandpipers were around.
Of course, migration is also in full swing in south Texas so I have to include at least one shot of a migrant that is passing through the area right now.