Thanksgiving morning was a gray, misty morning. The sky was totally covered in clouds, and as I got closer to Lake Apopka, it started to mist. But I haven’t had a lot of spare time lately, and it was an opportunity to visit my feathered friends. I wandered out on the dock and a Boat-tailed Grackle showed off, throwing his head back and calling loudly. I guess he wanted me to think he’d caught the apple snails next to him. I knew better. ;-)
I kept wandering and looking carefully at the black birds, searching for the Bronzed Cowbirds I’d seen reported on eBird. A jogger came by and flushed a big flock of grackles and red-wings. One of the few birds that didn’t spook turned out to have a red eye – the male Bronzed Cowbird! Bronzed Cowbirds typically live in Mexico and Central America, with small patches found in the southern US. The bird didn’t seem to mind my camera as I took his picture.
After a few minutes, the Bronzed Cowbird headed to the alligator flags. His feathers are pretty – imagine how much they would gleam in sunlight. His red eye is an easy discriminator from our typical Florida black birds. He continued to pose for me as the rain picked up and I had to leave. He was a nice Thanksgiving surprise!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Apopka?
Check out my Lake Apopka 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!