It is getting real warm on the Broward. My air conditioner has been on its last legs for over a year now. I didn’t think we would make it through last summer and prayed for another year. Well my prayers were answered last year but I guess my time ran out. Thank the Lord it wasn’t any hotter than it was and we just replaced it. Seems I was not the only one on the Broward experiencing some “air conditioning” heat problems.
I notice “George”, the Yellow Crowned Night Heron, spending a lot of time in the yard hunting for food this past week. George must have been getting a bit overheated because as I glance down at the dock I see him stretch out his wings towards the sun and fold them down at his side to air things out in front so to speak to cool off and dry. I have seen a similar "pose" with the Anhinga's which are swimming and diving birds, and thus have a need to dry their wings out in the sun in a similar fashion. This is the first I have observed a night Heron, which does not dive or swim, display its feathers in this manner. George is partially obscured by the Cyprus tree so I move out on the porch and push the doohickey. Caught you George! He looks like a “flasher” opening a raincoat. The camera click is audible and George turns his head to look and spies me with the camera. You would think he is embarrassed the way he quickly folds his wings up and jumps up on the dock. Then he looks straight at me as if to say “You wanna picture buddy?,,,Take this!” and he turns towards me with all his glory exposed and appears like he is “flashing” me. WHAT A SIGHT!
Later I catch George sitting in the stream like a duck cooling off in the water. I sit down beside him and watch him take a complete mud bath. I know most all marsh birds bathe but this is the first I observed it this closely. George dips his head down underwater and jams his beak in the muddy bottom and gets a good mud bath and facial. He then sits up on his rump like he is in a Jacuzzi tub. Then it is shake and twist time. Hurts my neck just watching him. After this he hops over to the other side of the bank, shakes his feathers again and “airs” out his wings like he did on the dock.
Well poor George doesn’t know the damage that social media can do to ones reputation now days. Little does he know but I have posted these photos on his “FEATHER BOOK” page for all his fowl friends on the Broward to see. Be Blessed and keep cool. George certainly is. Harry