A January Jaunt: Orlando Wetlands

The final place to be featured in the “January Jaunts” series is the Orlando Wetlands Park – a wildlife hotspot that is actually a water reclamation facility boasting lots of lakes, lots of trails, and LOTS of birds. As I was sifting through some of the photos I took and trying to decide which to include, I decided to make this the “Crayola Collection” and feature four birds that each have a color in their name.

Let’s start with the Purple Gallinule. These birds are B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!! Their iridescent colors just shimmer in the sunlight.

And they are oh so entertaining to watch. One minute they can be leisurely tip-toeing along in the shallow water…

…and the next minute something startles them (a common occurrence!) and they take off racing across the water’s surface. I call them Jesus birds!

Perhaps the only thing lovelier than one Purple Gallinule is when you see two together!

Next up in the Crayola Collection is the Red-Shouldered Hawk, a bird we saw several times as we walked along. This one below was looking down over the marsh in search of his next meal…

…while this fellow was already feasting. I believe fresh frog legs was the daily special.

And of course, he was a well-mannered bird and gave himself a post-meal beak cleaning.

Roseate Spoonbills are common at the Wetlands, and thanks to the new boardwalk that was recently built, you can get quite close to where they like to hang out. (And by the way, one definition of “roseate” is a “dusty purplish pink color, so I’m not cheating by including them!)

We saw some Spoonbills in flight overhead…

…some perched on a limb, or awkwardly attempting to do so…

…and some foraging through the marshy water.

When I look closely at these birds I’d have to say that they are both unusually pretty, and pretty unusual!

And I’ll close out the collection with the Green Heron that flew out of a wooded area along the side of the trail and landed at the water’s edge.

He was immediately met by a Glossy Ibis, and the two had a bit of a territorial squabble.

The Heron left in a huff…

…turned and gave the Ibis a snarly-beaked stare…

…and then flew off to find a less populated area.

And there you have the Crayola Collection. And speaking of Crayola, am I the only one who used to covet the 64-count crayon pack with the built in sharpener in the back? Okay, who am I kidding, I still covet it!

Anyway, I know I said this about Lake Apopka and the Merritt Island NWR, but if you are ever in Titusville, the Orlando Wetlands Park is a place you definitely don’t want to miss!

21 thoughts on “A January Jaunt: Orlando Wetlands

  1. Wonderful shots, Kathy. And yes, I coveted the 64-ct. box! My sister had one, and I’d have to beg to use them. She’d only loan one at a time, lol! Did you have a favorite color? Mine was yellow-orange, but I pretended it was 24-ct. gold, hehe!

  2. Some beautiful birds you included here that I am totally unfamilar with. Were you on vacation? I need to find some of these places if I go to Florida again. I’m burned out on theme parks.

  3. Glorious photography of & fun commentary on vividly colored birds! Thank you. In my childhood best buy at the ten cent store, two I loved the most were Gorgesty Green & Favority Blue.

  4. First off, yes I was always coveting the big box of crayons with the sharpener. No way were my folks ever going to buy that for us. But I bought myself one years later, I think I was probably in my 40s or 50s. It suddenly occurred to me that I could! πŸ™‚

    I LOVE your birds. I especially love the shots of the purple ones running across the water. Soooooo beautiful and interesting! And I’ve always wanted to see a pin spoonbill in person I was in Florida a few years ago and my host/friend had seen them the day before I got there, but they weren’t around during my stay. 😦 Someday though!

    1. My grandgirlie will be two in July…I’m thinking that Crayola set will be perfect…one for her and one for me!
      And those Purple Gallinule are so much fun to watch!

    2. Dawn, We saw so many- a huge number- once in the Ding Darling Refuge on Sanibel Island. The sight of all that roseate glory knocked my eyes out. I hope the refuge survived Ian & is recovering any damage that must have occurred. I hope the amazing creatures on the barrier islands have all survived. I saw someones doorbell camera photo of Ft. Myers Beach pelicans sheltering on their stoop during that monster hurricane. Judith

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