Steve Leach

Take a Bite

Yellow Crown Night Herons love to find Ghost Crabs along Fort DeSoto's North Beach. One of the behaviors is to flip the crab in the air and get it facing away from the Heron so it will go down easier. This guy had mastered the technique and had a really nice breakfast

You Can't See Me

The Reddish Egrets have a behavior known as Canopy Fishing or Hunting, They eat small fish in the salt water shallows, They will spread the wings and tuck the head under to shade the water from the sun, and glare in order to get a better look at the small bait fish that hide in the grasses. This is the rare White Morph of the Reddish Egret photographed at Fort DeSoto Park's Famous North Beach in Florida

Shooting the Moon

White Pelicans at Sunrise Circle B Bar Reserve

Pink Morning

Dawn at Fort Desoto's North Beach is a magical time of day, the light slips into the salt marsh where wading birds have been spending the night, just barely lighting these Roseatte Spoonbills.

Snowy Egret Display

Mating display during nesting season of the Snowy Egret. They provide some of the most dramatic displays of all the herons and egrets

Spoonbill Landing

Young Roseatte Spoonbill coming in for a landing

Reddish Egret Catches a Fish

Big Red SCORES He is known here as Big Red, a Favorite model for nature photographers at the famous North Beach of Fort DeSoto Park near Tampa Florida.

Turn with the Wind

Osprey are great birds to watch hunt, they have the unique style of spinning the fish to be head first as they fly, This was a nice gust of wind that caused him to make a hard turn, and turn the fish as well.

Nice Fish

Great White Egret with a meal Fort DeSoto Florida

Side by Side

Mated pair of OysterCatchers. Fort DeSoto's North Beach Florida.

Great White Egret Face

During the nesting season, the Great White Egret gets this really nice green color (normally its an orange or yellow color) the top of the beak gets dark or black.

Snowy King

DON KING of the bird world

Great White Egret 2

Black and White of a Great White Egret., North Beach, Fort DeSoto Florida

Snowy Egret 2

Mating display during nesting season of the Snowy Egret. They provide some of the most dramatic displays of all the herons and egrets

Turns

During the nesting season, the Great White Egret gets this really nice green color (normally its an orange or yellow color) the top of the beak gets dark or black.

Skimmer Chick Breakfast

there are Skimmer colonies in Florida, where hundreds of pairs of Skimmers nest on public beach areas, its a tough mix of tourist and birds. The adults fly and fish all day, bringing back food for the checks, as they get older the fish get bigger

Summer Tanager

The only totally red bird in the US, they migrate though Florida, always great to find one eating the berries and fruit in the spring. Even better when its outside my front door.

Osprey and Pinfish

Osprey hunting at Fort DeSoto's famous North Beach.

Big Red

Reddish Egret Fort DeSoto Florida Our rarest heron. Only 2,000 pairs are thought to breed in U.S. Nearly extirpated from Florida by plume hunters by 1910. Florida’s population in early 1990s estimated at 350 - 400 pairs, only about 10 percent of population prior to plume hunting. Of these, 100 - 125 pairs occur in Florida Bay. Most known breeding sites occur within National Audubon Society sanctuaries and national parks and wildlife refuges.

Shaken not Stirred

Ruddy Turnstone's have great variations in color and change by time of year, this one is in the middle of one such change as it shook up after a fast morning bath at Fort DeSoto's North Beach

Loggerhead Shrike

Nice little wing display from the cool little bird. Taken in Tampa Florida

Is this my good side?

Adult Black Skimmers colonize on a public beach on Florida's Gulf Coast near Tampa. 200 pairs return each year to raise their young. Due to the proximity of the nesting area to the surf line, at times its only 10 feet or less between the two. The Skimmers have become very accustomed to people walking by, bikes riding by and photographers setting down in the sand and surf to get photos, Ergo, the posing for the camera of this Adult. Skimmers are the only North American bird whose lower bill is longer than the upper. This helps them skim the waters to pick up fish as the fly fast along the shorelines.

tending the nest

a pair of nesting great white egrets build a nest together.

Gator Bites

The Gators were eating fish. Lots of Fish. was interesting to watch the different hunting techniques.;

Great White Egret 1

Great White Egret taking off at Fort DeSoto's North Beach, Florida. Black and White

Dawn, Fort DeSoto's Famous North Beach

Dawn over the marsh at North Beach, Lighting is amazing here, coming in between the islands, up into the marsh and onto the beach and surf on a few feet behind me. Its an amazing place and great to experience the colors of morning.

Seattle WA USA

Ferry coming back to Seattle Washington with Olympic Mountain Range in background.

Tampa Florida

The Woods

Intentional ICM of Cypress Trees at Dawn on the Wetlands of Florida

North Beach Point Dunes

At the tip of the famous North Beach of Fort DeSoto near Tampa Florida there are a series of protected dunes. The sea oats cover the sands protecting them, but paths seem to exist inviting you to walk in.

Electric Spoonbills

Electric Preen

Swallow Tail Kite Preening

Fractal Fun with Flowers

Fractals is a great way to show off the lines, colors and shapes of nature.

Is this my good side?

Fort DeSoto Florida

alone

Barred Owl

On the banks of the Hilsborough River in Tampa, This Barred Owl showed himself on an overcast day, perched up on this nice dead tree with some nice ferns and posed for a few photos.

Morning Walk

The Long Billed Curlew is not a common bird to the Gulf Coast of Florida, Fort DeSoto has had one hanging around for a while now. Its a prized photo for this area, even though common for many others, Taken before sunrise as the reflection of the sky lights up the water with color

FEED ME, Don't just take my Photo

Great Horned Owls Fort DeSoto, Florida

Red Wetlands

Dawn on the Wetlands of Florida Circle B Bar Reserve

Great Blue Heron eating a Stingray

it is rare, but it does happen. GBH seem to eat about anything that moves. This one also got too close to a fishermans catch as you can see the fishing line that was caught around his wing (FYI, he was able to get the line off, but was more interested in the Stingray).

Gnat Catcher

These little tiny birds at times seem to stay so far away,,, then at times seem to not even see you at all.

HEY,, any food in there?

White Tigers at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo (rated top family friendly zoo in USA)

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White Eye Viero

small birds are so interesting when you can get very close to them

Tree, with a hawk

Lone Eagle

An Eagle protects the nest at dawn.

A little red bird

In the US, this is the only totally red bird we have, the summer tanager frequents Florida during the winter, some stay all year, they love to eat the ripening soft fruit and berries from the trees As always, for prints and usage rights please contact me first.

Running Ruddy Turnstone

Fast little plovers, but you have to love those feather patterns. Fort DeSoto's Famous North Beach.

Red Knot Morning

Red knots flew into North Beach at Fort DeSoto just as the sun was peaking over the horizon. I left the tag on his leg to show that these small shorebirds are of concern and numbers are dropping. Banding can track the migration patterns, Yes the sighting of the band was reported for the research. If you need info on where to report your sightings, just email me for more info.

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The Dance

Rarely do you see a Long Billed Curlew on Florida's Gulf Coast, this one has taken up residence at Fort DeSoto's North Beach

I have my eyes on you too

A close fly over by this Osprey provided a nice close up shot, I am guessing the lens provided the subject for her eye contact.

Pink Morning Light

Pre Dawn I went out into the water with these birds, moving slowly, and then knee walking to get close. Awaiting the first rays of light to peak around the horizon, he awoke to see dawn. Taken at Fort DeSoto;s Wold Famous North Beach in Florida.