Monday, January 10, 2011

Pic of the Day

 White Ibis – A. Max Brewer Memorial Parkway; Titusville, Florida:  This trip was certainly the year for photographing ibis.  Ibis seemed to be everywhere and were very photographable.  This ibis was photographed on the causeway that leads from Titusville to Cape Canaveral just before entering the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  I stopped along the causeway to photograph gulls, but the sky was overcast and the images looked very dull.  Soon, the sun began to break through the clouds and the birds on the causeway came alive.  All of a sudden, birds began to appear from all directions to feed in the shallows of the Indian River. 
   As I shot images of gulls, an ibis flew onto the scene and began searching for prey.  It was not long until it was pulling horseshoe crabs out of the water.  The antics of the ibis were most interesting. With each catch the ibis would toss the crab into the air, catch it with its beak, then crunch down breaking the crabs shell.   The tossing and crunching continued for about forty-five seconds per crab.  Once broken and cracked to the ibis’ satisfaction, the crab went down its gullet. The gulls that were ever present stayed close to the ibis and continually tried to snatch its catch… no avail.

Nikon D300, 500mm f4, Digital Capture ISO 200, 1/2500 sec. @ f6.3

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