Everybody Loves Radar!

Since many of you enjoyed seeing the photos of our pal Radar with his big fish earlier, I thought it might be nice to show some of his friends that hang around with him in the marsh. A few days ago I saw Radar standing around in the salt marsh taking a break from fishing for a while. Apparently a few of his buddies had the same idea as he was soon joined by a juvenile white ibis on the left, and a little snowy egret. It is interesting to note the size difference among the three birds. The great egret (Radar) is obviously the larger of the group, with the snowy being the smallest. We often see that the different species of birds are able to get along wellΒ with each other as opposed to groups of egrets, that seem compelled to argue almost constantly.

For those of you who may have missed previous posts, “Radar” is the name we have given the great egret that has a transmitter pack attached to his back with two antennas sticking out. He is supposed to be part of a study regarding migratory habits of wading birds. However Radar does not seem to migrate all that much and may not provide a wealth of data.Β 

Radar with Ibis and Snowy

38 thoughts on “Everybody Loves Radar!

  1. Maybe he can’t fly very far with that thing on his back. I said “I’ll show you guys for sticking this thing on my back. I’m not going anywhere.” Nice to see he has friends.

    • That could be it. We do see him fly with no apparent problems but it’s possible it bothers him.
      He does have friends as long as they are not another great egret, and I don’t think he is particularly fond of the GBH either. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Molly! Radar looks like he could be getting into breeding plumage so it’s possible.
      I wonder if his antennas make him more desirable to a potential mate or scares them off? 😯 πŸ™‚

    • I have a ton of photos of him flying but it could be that distance flying is not something he likes. That could be either due to his attachments, or he just really likes it here. Being king is good I suppose. πŸ™‚

  2. What a brilliant picture, Phil! Do they eat different sizes of fish? Is this why they get along, as they are not in competition, or are they just easygoing by nature?

    • That is an excellent question Maggie and you have hit on an important aspect of their life in the marsh.
      These three birds specifically do not exactly eat all the same things nor do they primarily hunt for the same things.
      The great egrets will prefer a larger fish or a full size shrimp. The snowys will eat tiny fish and shrimp, and the ibis will eat some of those smaller items but are the only one of the three that also activly search for crabs, both large and small ones. So it could very well be that the feeling of competition for food is not strong among different species that are not hunting the same food sources.
      Several egrets and great blue herons in one area can all converge on one that has caught a large fish which is something they all want. That’s when arguments typically break out.
      Thanks very much for looking and I’m happy you enjoyed this photo! πŸ™‚

    • They do all look quite similar in stance and expression. Very good you caught that. It is exactly why I took that photo. I normally don’t shoot birds just standing there, I prefer action, unless there is something fairly interesting about the scene.
      They often have that look of anticipation. Sometimes I think they are just ‘on break’. πŸ™‚

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