My dad recently had a birthday, and what better way to celebrate than a birding trip with his daughter? We headed to the beach to escape the inland heat and scout out a few beaches for breeding shorebirds. Our first stop was at Fort De Soto, where we came across a small flock of Magnificent Frigatebirds circling over the Tierra Verde “Duck Ponds.” My dad was so excited. He’d never seen a Magnificent Frigatebird before! Later in the morning we came across some more birds in good light. We both had fun taking pictures of them. :)
This is a male bird. Look at the fork in his tail! The Magnificent Frigatebirds are birds of the ocean, kind of like the Atlantic Puffins that I photographed in Maine last summer. The frigatebirds fly over the sea, swooping down to grab fish to eat. They only come to land to breed. If you look closely you can see a red patch under the male’s chin. During the nesting season, that patch turns into a big red balloon under his chin. I hope to be able to photograph that in 2015! :)
This is a juvenile Magnificent Frigatebird. His head is all white. Females have a white tummy but a dark head. I love how this bird is looking down as he flies overhead. I wonder if he was watching the happy photographers below? Click, click, click!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Fort De Soto?
Check out my Fort De Soto page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!