24 January 2011

Tallahassee, Florida (State Capitol) Saves Wetlands & Attracts Migratory Birds

Michal Ford works in downtown Tallahassee for the Florida Supreme Court.  She is an avid photographer and keeps her camera ready because Tallahassee and Leon County have regulations preserving wetlands, waterbodies, lakes and streams.

Unlike many other Urban Core areas across the US, Tallahassee's many open waters are a welcome stopping point for birds during their annual migrations.  Here are a sampling of Michal's Urban bird photos, some taken within a short distance of Florida's tall State Capitol Building.

Hooded Mergansers
Photo One: Female (left) and male (right) Hooded Mergansers. Chapman Pond. January 4, 2011. Here's one for Chapman Pond: Hood Mergansers winter and breed at Chapman Pond near downtown Tallahassee, Florida. These two are part of a group of about 25. The group often dive at the same time and are quick and efficient feeders. Egrets are sometimes found near them as they can catch a quick meal of fish that the Mergansers chase their way. When startled or excited, the "hoods" transform their heads into a circular shape. The male's is quite impressive with its white stripe changing into a 3/4 circle. The female's is a reddish brown.

Lake Ella, Tallahassee, Florida
Photo Two:  Lake Ella. This one was taken with my old point and shoot camera, but I still like it. Lake Ella and Fred Drake Park are located in the heart of Tallahassee, Florida. The Lake is surrounded by a .6 mile, paved sidewalk that is very popular for walking and jogging. It also has picnic areas and a gazebo that overlooks the center of the lake. It is home to Muscovy Ducks, Mallards, Canada Geese, and several species of turtles. A very out-of-place American Bittern has even been seen here. The lake is as old as Tallahassee itself, and is used in the city's treatment of stormwater runoff.

Lake Killarney, Tallahassee, Florida
Photo Three: Lake Killarney: Lake Killarney is located between two popular neighborhoods just north of Tallahassee, Florida. It is home year-round to Canada Geese, egrets, herons, and kingfishers. It also hosts winter visitors such as White Ibis, Wood Storks, and Hooded Mergansers. Other birds that have been spotted in this popular neighborhood park include Bald Eagles, Red-Tailed Hawks, Red-Shouldered Hawks, Ospreys, and Killdeer. Early morning is the best time for birdwatching. Egrets, Great Blue Heron, and White Ibis. Lake Killarney. November 19, 2010.

Many thanks to Michal.  You may view more of her Urban Core bird photos on her Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/michal.ford  All rights reserved by Michal Ford.

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