Category: Birds


The Story of the Pipe Fish where males do the birthin!

http://www.bluewaterventures.org

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We watched an Eared Grebe wrestle a spindly pipe fish down the hatch in Elkhorn Slough yesterday. More to the Story!

Spring has arrived to the mudflats and eelgrass beds of Elkhorn Slough and the pheromones are floating! Male cormorants are flaring their feathers, female sea otters are sporting red noses and male pipefish are pregnant! One of our more liberated Ostecichthyes, the male bay pipefish carries the load of pregnancy.

A slightly bulbous brood pouch is located on the ventral side of the male, which receives a package of unfertilized eggs from the female pipefish. Like clockwork, sperm fertilizes the eggs. Once properly tucked into the male’s receptacle, skin flaps adhere over the eggs sealing them in for a 2-week journey with Dad at the helm.

As the tiny embryos develop, the male pipefish provides life’s essentials: nutrients, oxygen, water and shelter from the storms. Two weeks later the magic happens. With a few twists and turns, the male pipefish delivers a posy of youngster that split out of the brood pouch and are spitting images of their most liberated parents.

 

 

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http://www.bluewaterventures.org.

Flocks of White Pelicans stole the show today on our Kirby to the Coast kayaking exploration of Elkhorn Slough. Conditions were ideal as an ebb tide carried us effortlessly to the coast winding through an intricate maze of tidal creeks. Unlike the Western Brown Pelicans which are plunge divers, White Pelicans feed by scooping fish with their bIlls.

 

aDSC00843They are known to work cooperatively together herding fish using their large bodies to form a net. Concentrating the fish within a “net of birds”, they then take turns scooping up a meal. With a wing span of nine feet, they are an impressive sight. Join us as we paddle throughout the winter in Elkhorn Slough and beyond at http://www.bluewaterventures.org.

II have spent decades walking this gulf coast beach and have never seen a great blue heron in such a peculiar stance. Well spring has sprung in the southlands and this male great blue is exhibiting a courtship ritual known as a stretch. As it reaches it’s head to the sky, the showy plumage of the neck is displayed revealing its rich red coloration.

Watermarked heronThrow in an eccentric dance and the females find it hard to resist! Life on the Florida gulf coast! have spent decades walking the gulf coast beaches and have never seen a great blue heron in such a peculiar stance. Well spring has sprung in the southlands and this male great blue is exhibiting a courtship ritual known as a stretch.

heron4As it reaches it’s head to the sky, the showy plumage of the neck is displayed revealing its rich red coloration. Throw in an eccentric dance and the females find it hard to resist! Life on the Florida gulf coast!