Is there a band on the cormorant's leg, or is it a trick of the light? I really love this picture, in any case. It was taken by my son, and it is a nice intro into the topic of this post. Why? Because these three cormorants also witnessed all the action below!
Horseshoe crabs were the main entree for the shorebirds we saw at South Beach last month. This crab was munched on for quite a while by a ravenous GBBG.
As soon as the GBBG walked away, a Ruddy Turnstone dashed in for his share.
The Ruddy Turnstone left when he was satiated, and then my son went over to see how much of the crab had been eaten (looking at devoured things is a male thing, evidently.) To his surprise, the poor crab was still very much alive! Pete rolled the horseshoe crab onto his feet, and the thing even managed to move a bit. I guess he lived to be a meal for some other bird!
Ruddy Turnstones can easily be identified by the big circular necklace on their breasts. These birds are another of my favorites.
I like Ruddy Turnstones because of their dramatic coloring and their tough guy attitudes. I also like the name. All in all, they are very cool customers.