During my last visit to Lake Morton, I came across these little black alien-like creatures with big feet. Their bright orange beaks and blue eyes looked different than any other creatures at the lake. They communicated rapidly and repeatedly in a persistent whining tone.
The Common Gallinules knew where these aliens came from. They are Common Gallinule babies. The frazzled parents tried to keep an eye on their first broods of children while they incubated a second brood. They said it’s hard to do both, especially when the babies prefer to get food from Mom and Dad instead of finding it for themselves.
It was a beautiful morning at the lake. Swan nesting had pretty much ended. All the Mute Swan nests were empty, and a few families were held in the pens with their small cygnets. A pair of Mute Swans still seemed to be in courtship mode out in the water.
The Lesser Scaup that I found on my last visit was still at the lake. She swam up to the edge of the water and gave me a wing-flap.
Near the shore, I saw a Common Gallinule gathering sticks to build her nest. I grabbed a few reeds and placed them near her nest to give her a hand. She gratefully accepted them.
Love was definitely in the air that morning. It’s not always a private matter, either. I felt badly for this duck…
I wandered around the lake and found another family of Common Gallinules. Mom and Dad had about a half dozen slightly older chicks. They were combing through the grass looking for bugs for breakfast. I laid down and spent about half an hour laughing at their big feet.
The parents were very attentive, keeping a very close eye on their brood. As a group of people approached, the birds returned to the water, and I headed to my car. Another great morning of birding at Lake Morton!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Morton?
Check out my Lake Morton 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!