The Ant and the Snowy Plover – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, prey provided by the bird
While photographing this Snowy Plover in June of 2008 I was able to observe the tiny shorebird snatch an ant from the sugar sand of the north beach of Fort De Soto. I watched as the plover stuffed the ant into the sand then waited a few seconds and then the bird removed the ant from the sand and repeated the behavior several times before scarfing the ant down. To this day I am still not sure why the Snowy Plover did what it did but I do know that while watching it through my lens I was fascinated.
Snowy Plover – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light
A simple image of a beautiful Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrius) in a rather goofy looking pose. The plover had been preening and paused for a few frames with its tail lifted up and its eyes barely open. I couldn’t resist sharing.
Resting Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrius)
Pinellas County, Florida
Nikon D200, f10, 1/350, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light
Snowy Plovers are the smallest plover of North America and as their name implies they are very pale colored. I spotted this plover resting near the wrack line near the Gulf of Mexico during the winter and sand-crawled up close to it to get a low angle in the beautiful light. For Florida the morning was cool so the bird had its feathers fluffed up to help keep the warmth close to its body.
I know that there are those photographers who would have “cleaned up” the sand on the bill of this bird using cloning and other Photoshop techniques but I prefer to leave my images as natural as possible. The sand was there when I took this so I left it alone. Personally I think it adds interest and reality as it is.
More Snowy Plover images