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How many birds?

How many birds?  Frigates, egrets, herons, cormorants, ibis, terns, ducks -and about 50 more call this last bend their home!

While flipping through photos, I realized how lucky I am to have sights like this every day that I am home on the river.  The 2013 rainy season kicked off with a strong start, so the river now resembles cafe con leche instead of the colors from a few weeks ago!   The bird life remains phenomenal, and how could I not share some images of those amazing birds that punctuate this last bend of the river ?!

heron P1530599

Those amazing frigate birds perch near the tops of the mangroves and suddenly leap into a swan dive that takes them near the surface of the water.  They might swoop lower in pursuit of fish, or they might soar high above and ride the air currents in lazy spirals throughout the day.  During nesting season, they often perch in the mangroves for most of the day.

P1480820 FRIGATESOARS P1480823 FRIGATE 2 P1480843 frigates P1480846 fly frigate fly

Pelicans claim the middle section of the mangroves and spend their time flop-flop flopping their wings in the water at low tide.   At times a mighty kingfisher hovers high above the pelicans then dive bombs the churned waters in pursuit of a fish.  If successful, he rat-tat-tattles away in a low arc of a glory circle while boasting about his catch!  If unsuccessful, he flies skyward  and hovers above the pelicans again and again until he he finally scores a catch!

Catch me if you can!

Catch me if you can!

I once watched a pelican and kingfisher play a game of tag!  The kingfisher taunted the pelican until it took flight and chased it across the river.  The kingfisher ducked into its hole in the river bank, and the pelican flew back and flopped into the water.  The kingfisher then darted back across and chattered until the pelican again took flight and chased it to the other side.  They appeared to be on good terms with each other  and were playing a friendly game of tag!

I am the king of t his river!

I am the king of t his river!





mangrove kingfisher green perched

The kingfishers announce the arrival of the sun each morning!  At times, several challenge each other with the loudest pre-sunrise greeting of the day!  Perhaps they’re asking, “When is the gringa going to come outside and say,’Good Morning!‘ to us?

The muddy riverbank provides a home for the kingfishers, while a nearby mangrove tree shelters the night herons.  They are my closest neighbors and bring me great joy each day!  The pelicans and frigates take a more distant residence and guard the point on the last bend of the river.

Last year I defended the birds and the mangroves when the local municipality altered the outside curve of the river.  Without warning, they brought in heavy equipment and began shoving down mangroves!  I threatened to tie myself to the ‘upriver’ trees that were home to my neighbors the birds!

Black Crowned Night Heron and Green Kingfisher

Black Crowned Night Heron and Green Kingfisher

Each night a lone yellow-crowned night heron guards my house!  Perhaps it’s a token gesture of gratitude for speaking up for their rights!

Black Crowned Night Heron

Black Crowned Night Heron

mangrove yellow crowned night heron


Snowy egret and little blue heron – low tide

I mourn the loss of this lovely mangrove.

I mourn the loss of this lovely mangrove.

The Mangrove Melting Pot of Ibis, Egrets, Herons and Frigates

The Mangrove Melting Pot of Ibis, Egrets, Herons and Frigates

mangroves heron P1480726

At high tide, one can canoe upriver into small breaks in the treeline and peek at the many species nesting there.

Save u

Save Us! – In over a year, not one tree has started the regeneration process.  Thankfully the ones remaining still offer a safe haven to the birds!

P1480838 mangroves

mangroves P1480709 fly away

Yellow feet = Snowy Egret!

mangrove night heron P1480854 MANGROVES herons P1480894 mangroves egretsP1480903 mangroves P1480761 P1480773 ibis mangrove ibis P1000870

P1630743 great egret in flight

Dorothy sighed, “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home.”

P1640022 mano rojo amarillo river house rio jama

Ah, Home On The River!

See many other examples of ‘HOME’ on this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge.