Some Of The Best Birding On The Planet
Sarasota Florida and the surrounding area is wildlife heaven. The foliage and climate combine to make one of the finests birding areas in the world. People come from all over the planet with cameras and binoculars to enjoy the sites. But you don’t have to travel far if you live here. It is literally in your back yard.
The common gallinule (Gallinula galeata) is a bird in the family Rallidae. It lives around well-vegetated marshes, ponds, canals, and other wetlands in the Americas. The species is not found in the polar regions or many tropical rainforests. Elsewhere, the common gallinule is likely the most commonly seen rail species in much of North America, excepting the American coot in some regions.
This footage was taken in the “Celery Fields” of Sarasota Florida. The Celery Fields is well know for its diversity of birds and boardwalks allow easy access to birders and photographers alike. We were fortunate enough to be filming in the Celery Fields when we came upon a nest of a Common Gallinule. These nests are almost always inaccessible, well concealed in heavy wetland grasses and almost always too hidden to film. In this case, we were lucky. We found a vantage point, just the right light and lens and were able to capture a gallinule chick when it had just emerged from its egg. Later we caught view of several of his brothers and sisters and watch on as mom provided food which the little guys gratefully gobbled down. We were fortunate to get such a view and were excited to share it on our blog.
This is a common breeding bird in marsh environments and well-vegetated lakes. Populations in areas where the waters freeze, such as southern Canada and the northern USA, will migrate to more temperate climes. This species will consume a wide variety of vegetable material and small aquatic creatures. It forages beside or in the water, sometimes upending in the water to feed. Its wide feet allow it to hop about on lily pads. It is often secretive, but can become tame in some areas. Despite loss of habitat in parts of its range, the common gallinule remains plentiful and widespread.
More footage in posts to come.