Note: This is part 4 of a series of posts describing a voyage from Kansas to South America.

From the pair of bald eagles we sighted immediately after casting off from our berth in Savannah to my final day in Trinidad a couple months later, there were almost always birds of one sort or several in my field of vision.  For me, the birds we encountered weren't just details within a broader canvas - they at times served to define the land and sea and skyscapes we were passing through.

One of our closest bird encounters was with a cybernetic pelican drone just north of King's Bay Submarine Base. This governmentally-created monstrosity landed on Lillie Mae a couple days out of Savannah and actually attempted to snatch ii's wallet so it could turn him in to INS even though he's an American citizen. 

Diving pelican


Cormorants and gull

Snowy egrets, or as Will always called them, no regrets

Bald eagle

Another eagle

Tern and fishermen


Great blue heron

Tern and marsh grass


Gulls and cormorants

Cormorants and cattle



all images ©2017 by nanatehay

Views: 598

Comment by nanatehay on October 6, 2017 at 2:22am

I wanted to include this one but it seemed like there were too many pelicans


Comment by koshersalaami on October 6, 2017 at 5:25am

Great way to connect the trip. I was struck by the two photos whose flying outlines were so stark they looked like IFF silhouettes of airplanes. Fifth and eighth from the end

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on October 6, 2017 at 6:36am

Why do they call them bald eagles when they clearly have feathers on their heads?

(Don't even get me started on "Sand Pipers"!)

Comment by Rosigami on October 6, 2017 at 8:53am

A journey of birds! Beautiful. Visual overload. I'm going to have to come back and look again later. I can't really pick a favorite, either, though the one of vultures would be a contender. 

Comment by koshersalaami on October 6, 2017 at 9:54am

After taking a closer look, I think my favorite is the second to last picture. Very comic sensibility

Comment by koshersalaami on October 6, 2017 at 9:58am


I like too many of them

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on October 6, 2017 at 11:59am

PFFFFFT!  Just because a bird has its dreads tucked up inside of a rasta beanie doesn't mean its "holy"!  It just means that it is a Snoop Birdd wannabe.

Image result for rasta hat

Comment by nanatehay on October 6, 2017 at 2:03pm

Isn't he called Snoop Lion now, Amy? 

The comic bird... for a long time after returning home I couldn't ID that one. Was so stumped in fact I posted that^^ pic on Facebook asking if anyone there had any idea what it was, but the most helpful[not] reply I got was, "It's a bird perched on the front part of a boat." Further resarch on my part seems to indicate that it's a great kiskadee, which is according to good ol' Wikipedia one of the largest of the tyrant flycatchers. They're charming, spritely birds, and there was always one or two of em' flittering around our anchorage in Chaguaramas Bay lending a nice contrast to the ubiquitous gulls and other large seabirds hanging around the place. 

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on October 6, 2017 at 2:05pm

This is why we eat them. 

Image may contain: text

Comment by nanatehay on October 6, 2017 at 2:28pm

Birds will definitely always bite you, which is apparently why the staff at the World Center For Birds of Prey in Idaho were all wearing oven mitts the day I was there. In the case of the harpy eagle, she can not only shear fingers off as easily as if her beak was a pair of limb loppers - I'm guessing her talons can break a human's arm like a rotten twig..


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