Mama “Radar”?!

Last night everyone was thrilled to see five spoonbills working the salt marsh during low tide. We were also particularly happy to enjoy a special guest appearance by our favorite great egret “Radar”. As some of you might remember, Radar got his name because he has a transmitter pack attached to his back that has two antennas sticking out of it. He is supposed to be part of a study involving migratory habits of certain wading birds such as egrets.

Yesterday evening though, Radar was behaving more like a mother duck with the spoonbills as her ducklings. At one point Radar had them all lined up and led them over to the water. Eventually he, (Radar is actually a male egret) kept watch over the brood as they stayed in line and fed in the shallow water in the salt marsh.

I included the last photo with a closer view where, if you look carefully, you should be able to see the antennas sticking out from Radar’s back. 

Spoonbills and Radar

Spoonbills and Radar

Spoonbills and Radar

Spoonbills and Radar

58 thoughts on “Mama “Radar”?!

  1. Cute and interesting!!It did look sort of like a bunch of young spoonbills imprinted onto that white egret!! Ah who else can look so gorgeous playing in the mud?

    • They were quite cute and it’s not often we will see five spoonies line up like this. The spoonies also stay remarkably clean in the mud, unlike the ibis which feed in a similar manner, they are almost always filthy. 🙂

    • Well I’m thrilled you enjoy the wacky scenes from the marsh and of course I had to throw in some pink text.
      I bet our pal Radar was thinking twice about taking over responsibilities for that brood.

    • Thanks very much Sylvia and it’s funny because yes they do indeed look small next to Radar but the spoonies are not at all small birds, they are considered large waders. So maybe Radar is bigger then we thought. But seriously, Radar is a larger then normal egret, he is head egret in charge out there too. 🙂

    • The interaction never fails to amaze me Maggie for sure! These are juvenile spoonbills but one (the one with the adult red eye color) is older then the others. We also have the cranky adult in the area who is getting his ‘old man head’.

  2. This is adorable, Phil. Here in Boston, we have that famous ‘Make Way for Ducklings” statue. Maybe they should rethink the cast of characters to include Radar plus the flamingos.

  3. Awesome pictures and great commentary. I missed the best night out again! 😦 Well, glad you shared these so I could . Thanks, Phil. Will be seeing you and Alyce in the marsh!

  4. Thank you for pointing the antennas to us Phil. Otherwise, I would not have noticed it. This is the most amusing account from your marshes :D. I like the way you matched your font colour with the colour of spoonbills’ feathers 🙂

  5. Phil, I met you on Sunset Beach several years ago, wrote down the name of the CBC on the back of my card, and asked you to submit a photo of an osprey carrying a shark. Ever since I have been basking in the beauty of your work. Do you know what study the Egret is in? If you got a good close-up shot of the transmitter, you might be able to determine part of the name. Thank you for sharing your talent with many of us. Jo O’Keefe

    • Glad you enjoyed the story about Mama Radar, I doubt I will ever witness a scene like this again.
      I asked if the transmitter pack was designed to simply drop off after a certain amount of time but was told it’s on permanent. So I guess poor Radar is stuck with it for life.

  6. Phil

    I’ve been traveling quite a bit recently and now that I’m home and catching up on email I noticed something missing. I’ve not received your daily notice regarding your blog posts.
    Since reading your blog and enjoying your photos has become a ritual I really miss the notice. Do I have to subscribe gain? If so where and how?

    I also noticed that you have not had any recent posts on the UHH so your blog will have to be my only connection. Hope all is well with you and your reptile buddies.
    Take care my friend.

    From South Florida

    • I am in the coastal SC area just south of Myrtle Beach and we have been getting spoonbill visitors every summer for the past 5 years. We still have a few around but it’s starting to get cold so they will likely leave soon.
      Thank you for your kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed my photos.

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