Saturday, April 25, 2009

While You Were Out (Another Spring Break Flashback Post)

A beautiful sight that I missed because I was working.

My break from teaching only lasted one week, but Glenn was out here for two. To make sure his second week in Florida was a fun as his first, I gave him the car keys and loaded my GPS with the addresses of Gainesville's best birding hot spots. And a friend of mine offered to keep him out of trouble for part of the time by taking him to work with her.

I should mention that this friend has one of the coolest jobs imaginable: she monitors Florida's Swallow-tailed Kite population for a small non-profit. And at this time of year, her "office" is any mature pine forest with said birds nesting in it.

Swallow-tailed Kites were high on the list of birds Glenn wanted to see, and my friend assured him that if he went with her, sightings were "guaranteed." And she was true to her word: on the two days they spent driving from nest site to nest site, Glenn got some great close looks at the birds—and some really nice shots.

Here is one of the Kites carrying nesting material back home:

And here is an amorous couple uh, making babies. Nothing wrong with anything that results in more Swallow-tailed Kites flying overhead!

Another flight shot:

I didn't get my own first sighting of a Swallow-tailed Kite until the weekend. If anyone else near me were having that much fun while I was stuck in my office (in a building my grad students unaffectionately call "The Death Star") I would have been massively jealous. But I could only share his joy, and enjoy a touch of pride: I really wanted him to see all the good stuff there is out here, and to experience all the fun things I have. And I did.


John said...

Excellent photographs!

Felicia said...

Thanks! I'll send your complements on to Glenn. Thanks for dropping by!

PWrink said...

Great shots!

*I Donated to Cornell Ornithology!*

Carol said...

We live in an area where the Swallowtail Kites soar on a regular basis. They are beautiful birds. We also have Osprey nesting within sight of our back porch.

I have never been able to get the shots you did. Great pictures

Felicia said...

Hi Carol,

How lucky you are to see those kites regularly! Thanks for dropping by!