Wednesday, November 11, 2020,
This is a juvenile male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Frank Melville Park in Setauket. Adult Sapsuckers have red foreheads. You can tell that this is a male by the very sparse splotches of red beneath its chin. The females don’t wear the red beards. JK.
Monday, October 26, 2020,
These pics were taken at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside. This is a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron.I find the juveniles of this species to be super photogenic. I am absolutely in love with them. It’s late in the season and by now, most have them have already begun traveling south but I am truly enjoying these last looks. I hope you will as well. JK.
Thursday, October 15, 2020,
This is a juvenile Snowy Egret finding the spot. Luckily, these birds come equipped with a pair of excellent back (or neck) scratchers. And they’re very nimble. You can identify this Snowy as a juvenile by the yellow line that runs along the back of its leg. Snowy Egrets are known for their bright yellow feet aka “Golden Slippers.” Adults have all black legs but as youngsters, they have pale yellow legs. As the summer progresses, their legs lose the yellow and become black. In my mind’s eye and highly unscientific view, I imagine all that pale yellow coloration slowly draining down to their feet and concentrating into those classic Golden Slippers. JK.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020,
These are a pair of pics of juvenile Black Skimmers that I took on the south shore recently. The bird in the top photo is begging for food and actively harassing its parents. Both birds are nearly the size of the adults. Normally, at this point in the season, these youngsters would be much more self sufficient but Tropical Storm Isaias wiped out a bunch of the Skimmer nests and even chicks so many of the Skimmers were forced to re-nest. While this speaks volumes of the dedication of Skimmer parents and the persistence of Mother Nature, these newer chicks face a much tougher immediate future than their brethren who were hatched earlier in the season. I wish them all well. JK.
Thursday, September 24, 2020,
This is a juvenile Oystercatcher looking back at me as I was photographing it at Point Lookout Beach. I don’t know that this will be the last juvenile Oystercatcher that I photograph this year, but these pics do make for a decent bookend for what has been a pretty good year for Oystercatchers here on Long Island. This particular bird was banded, as you can see in the photo below, so I hope that I can maybe photograph it next year or, at the very least, follow it’s exploits in the coming years. I wish you well, my young one, and I truly hope that our paths cross again. JK.