Thanks to the awesome Christmas Bird Count reporting on eBird, I got to see my lifer Hooded Oriole this week! :) The bird was spotted at Weekiwachee Preserve just before Christmas. Hooded Orioles are usually found in Mexico, with their range extending only slightly into the southwestern United States. They are very rarely found in Florida. Chasing the bird involved a nice little hike into the preserve carrying a heavy camera, but boy was it worth it! I sat watching and waiting for over an hour, then the bird flew in and posed on the top of a cedar tree. A minute or two later, he hopped down into some low vegetation by the nearby lake. He posed there for some time, quite unaware of the unwritten law of lifer photography that states that lifer bird images shall be obscured by branches, blurs, bad light, and other photographic mishaps. This beautiful bright yellow bird posed for me in perfect morning light, showing off his feathers on all angles. I think I grinned the whole long walk back to my car. :)
Want to learn more about nature photography at Weekiwachee Preserve?
Check out my Weekiwachee Preserve 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!