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Thread subject: Disney birding
Name Date Message
Melanie 06/27/11 11:53 am I'm just back from 4 days in Orlando where we had some very unusual birding ops.

Airport arrival - I was greeted by 2 ospreys. There are all kinds of small lakes/big ponds everywhere so there are plenty of fishing opportunities

Disney Magic Kingdom - we were very surprised to see Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Cattle Egrets and Wood Ibis' continually landing in small grassy landscaped areas, sometimes within a foot or two of people. That these bird were in FL is certainly no big deal, but that they were so comfortable landing in the middle of thousands of people, looking for any scraps that people threw or dropped. I have to admit it was a little unnerving to find yourself sitting at the ice cream parlor and realize there was a Great Egret literally eyeballing your ice cream sundae over your shoulder. And make no mistake, he was definitely watching it. Must not have been enough hot fudge on it for him, though, because he quietly strode off when he realized I wasn't going to offer him any. Either that or I had already eaten the cherry. Happily not many people tossed anything to the birds, but a few kids did. Mallard ducklings fighting over a few popcorn kernels thrown on the grass was pretty funny, though

Epcot - on the last day a male osprey fished the big lagoon for about a half hour in the early evening, dodging the fireworks barges as he made several dives. He was my consolation prize for giving up this years' banding trip to do the family thing.

I also can't remember seeing so many Grackles and Crows at one time. They were everywhere in very large numbers. It was almost Hitchcockian. Of course, they are both great scavengers so it wasn't a surprise. Also we had armadillos and Sand Hill Cranes every morning strolling between the houses.
Celeste 06/27/11 06:40 pm Definitely true....you know when the Mom's park their strollers when they go on a ride, etc? Beware of the crows! They rummage in their lunch bags, in the pockets of the carriage etc. Oh and an egret made a move on Frank's barbeque turkey leg! Just sit and have a snack and Ibis will fly to the tables looking for a hand out! All those crowds and they know exactly where all the food stands are ready for anything! At night at the Marketplace nearer to the Adult area, osprey can be heard over all the noise, and it's there that I saw otters frolicking in the grass below. Amazing! I do prefer the Fla. "scavengers" over the pigeons in Central Park!. I do love the Wood Storks also.. looking just like "preachers":-)!

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