Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pretty Maids All in a Row

I listened to an Eagles CD on the drive in this morning, and I've had that song running through my head ever since I pulled into the parking lot. It reminded me of an ibis encounter I had a couple of weeks back, so I figured: What better to write about this morning?

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On my way in to work one morning I spotted an egret flying low over a nearby field, so I turned in to see where he was heading. I parked and quietly walked up the rise. But instead of the anticipated egret, I was surprised to find a wholly different set of waders playing "follow the leader" through the marshy grass.

click image to enlargeWhite Ibis (Eudocimus albus)

The ibises (should that be "ibisi"?) would trudge single-file across one way, then stop and wander around looking for some breakfast. Then one would start heading back the other way — and the other three would fall in right behind, looking for a better hunting spot.

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They almost seemed to be crisscrossing the area, and were very methodical in their search.

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A few minutes later, the egret swooped in to check on the proceedings.

click image to enlargeWhite Ibis and Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)

After what appeared to be a brief conference between the two species, the ibises returned to their work.

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The egret stayed for a bit to oversee their work then took wing once again, flashing those "golden slipper" feet as he left almost as suddenly as he had arrived.

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Almost as if on cue, the ibises fell into line once more. Pretty maids, all in a row.

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For more great bird photos, check out Bird Photography Weekly #8.
Bird Photography Weekly


Anonymous said...

Egrets seem to be the bird to blog this week. Thanks for stopping by Wrenaissance to say hello.

Arija said...

What a beautiful set of bird photos you have posted! Love the Ibis on manouvers, what quaint customs they have.

2sweetnsaxy said...

How great was this!? If I ever see any it's only one at a time. To see this many must have been a great treat! Nice job!