Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Spring Migration on High Island, Texas (Part 2)

High Island Rookery

The U-shaped island in the middle of Clay Bottom Pond has become a favored roosting and meeting place for thousands of waterbirds.   In the spring and summer, herons, egrets, cormorants and spoonbills build their nests and raise their chicks on the predator-free island.  Visitors to the sanctuary are able to get a good, close look at the home life of these beautiful birds throughout the breeding season. All year long the island is also used as a night roost by the same species of birds that nest here.  They appreciate having a safe place to spend the night that is close to the marshes where they feed.   The most spectacular time of day to visit the rookery is the last hour before dark when the birds are coming in for the night.

It is hard to imagine adjacent to the forest of Smith Oaks is a wading bird rookery. 
Great Egrets were performing beautiful dances and displays

See the end result of the dancing below:-) These two Great Egrets are protecting their nestlings- check out the nest

These Neotropic Cormorants are also on the nest

You can see a Roseate Spoonbill on the nest below
It looked like everyone was pairing off

Snowy Egret in breeding plumage: the area around the eye (lores) and the feet are red instead of yellow when in high breeding plumage

This Snowy Egret below is still in non breeding plumage. Maybe it is not going to breed this year?
Tricolored Heron
Purple Gallinule: what a kaleidoscope of colors and big feet

The World is Full of Beauty & Wonder,

Turtle & Hawk


  1. Your photos of the nesting egrets and spoonbills are fantastic! I love the brilliant colors of the Purple gallinule, too -- I've yet to see one! It's on my list of desires for this winter in Florida. :-)

  2. You are too kind:) If you are on the Texas coast, check out High Island.