Birds in the Bayou

We took a walk through Bayou Segnette Park just southwest of downtown New Orleans today.  The park is still recovering from hurricane Katrina, with many downed  trees and flood refuse cluttering the landscape.  The stately bald cypress are sparser than they once were, and there is a dense understory of 5-6 foot leafy vegetation growing up in the light gaps.

Many of the bald cypress trunks had exposed roots like the one on the right of the photo.

Many of the bald cypress trunks had exposed roots (like the one on the right of the photo) due to soil erosion from flooding.

It was a treat to see the local chickadees (probably Carolina Chickadees in this part of the world).  They are slightly smaller, have higher pitched calls, and slightly different black patterning on the head.

carolina chickadee

And Red-breasted Nuthatch, which actually are pretty rare this far south in the winter.

red breasted nuthatch

But the real treat was seeing all the true swamp birds hanging out in the bayou.

Apparently the park is trying to encourage nesting of Wood Ducks by placing boxes along the canal.  We did see a flock of Wood Ducks at the far end of the canal.

Apparently the park is trying to encourage nesting of Wood Ducks by placing boxes along the canal. We did see a flock of Wood Ducks at the far end of the canal.

Great Egret hunched up to conserve heat on a very brisk morning.

A Great Egret was hunched up to conserve heat on this very brisk morning.

Black crowned Night Heron, hunched up and protecting one foot (at a time) from the cool wind blowing.

A Black-crowned Night Heron, hunched up and protecting one foot (at a time) from the cool wind blowing.

Young White Ibis (foreground) and Tri-colored Herons (background)

Young White Ibis (foreground) and Tri-colored Herons (background)

Very shy Great Blue Heron hiding in the brush with a young White Ibis

Very shy Great Blue Heron hiding in the brush with a young White Ibis

Overly shy GBH did not want to be photographed so he flew off.

Overly shy GBH did not want to be photographed so he flew off.

Tri-colored Heron and young White Ibis

Tri-colored Heron and young White Ibis

But the best sighting of the day was the alligator youngster that slipped into the water, just seconds after I spotted him basking on the shore.

A "baby" alligator was basking on the bank of the canal until I disturbed him, but he posed in the water anyway.

A nice morning’s work.

5 thoughts on “Birds in the Bayou

  1. Enjoyed the pictures, Sue. I was reading yesterday that the Red-breasted Nuthatch is expanding its range southward and irrupting in all kinds of places, but I don’t the the reason(s).

  2. Pingback: Heron of the night? | Back Yard Biology

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