amazing adaptations

January 11, 2020

Five days removed from one of the darkest moments in our nation’s history. The day neofascist Proud Boys, Three Percenters, elected officials, everyday Trump supporters, and extremists prepared to commit violence for him, violently stormed our nation’s capitol. I wish I had the skills necessary to express my outrage and disgust towards not only the imbeciles, morons, and criminals responsible for this domestic terrorist attack, but also towards those who refuse to open their eyes to the obvious. Those who supported and continue to support this nightmare that has transpired over the last four years.

But I don’t have the skills, nor the energy. I am so completely fatigued by “stupid”. I leave that to the experts.

So here is another attempt to try and put some distance between the reality of humanity and my little world.

CANOPY FEEDING

This is fairly common behavior in some egrets and herons. The strategy involves shading the water with outstretched wings. Small fish may then possibly seek refuge from the sun and swim into the shade provided by the wings. A Tri-colored Heron at Fort DeSoto State Park in Florida.

The bird can also hide the reflections of his neck and beak by tucking his head up under one wing.

Aerodynamics

When Osprey carry their prey, they always re-position the fish so that its head faces forward in a streamlined position for transporting through the air.

Ding-Darling NWR, Florida
Fort DeSoto State Park, Florida

HIDE AND SEEK

While Osprey are primarily solitary birds, Eagles tend to congregate in large numbers near an abundant food supply. This is especially true for northern birds in winter months. This poses a unique problem brought on by the birds themselves. Eagles are notoriously lazy predators. It seems they prefer to let someone else do the work and then they swoop in and go for the steal.

At a place like Conowingo Dam in Maryland, the water below the dam doesn’t freeze so many birds from further north congregate here in the winter. It’s not unusual to see a bird make a catch in the river and then as if out of nowhere, two or three birds will descend and the chase is on.

So instead of carrying it’s prey out in the open like the Osprey, an eagle will often tuck the fish up under it’s tail feathers to shield it’s meal from would be robbers.

TAKE OUT FOR ONE

And if the Eagle doesn’t want to take any chance of his meal being stolen, he will take a glance down to make sure the fish is secured

And will then consume the fish in the air immediately after the catch as I witnessed along the James River in Virginia.

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