It was a chilly morning in early January. I’d read that one of the Bronzed Cowbirds was back at Newton Park. I located the bird in a flock of grackles that was hanging on the dock. It was a fun game of “which one is not like the others?” His bright red eye and unique shape distinguished him from all the other black birds. They spooked a few times as people passed, but each time, I re-spotted this rare-to-Florida bird. I have to assume he’s one of the same birds who has wintered at Lake Apopka in years past (I first photographed them in 2019). I wonder what happened to his friend.
It was so cold that morning!! The temperature itself wasn’t bad, but the lake breezes kicked up, and I think my teeth even chattered. With the cowbird giving me only the “pose on dock” image, I started walking around to try to warm up. A pair of juvenile Purple Gallinules started to laugh at me from the reeds. “It’s even colder down here in the shade!” They are quickly getting their adult colors in preparation for this year’s breeding season.
Just when I decided that I couldn’t take the cold wind any longer, a Bald Eagle flew by. He was out fishing for his breakfast on the lake. His strong wings pumped in the cold wind as he called down a reminder: “Most of my eagle friends live in much colder places than Florida! It will warm up soon!”
I hope he’s right! :)
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!
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