Cranes are not the only large black-and-white birds in
Florida in winter. It’s very important in making any identification of
an unexpected bird to get a good look at both the bird’s shape and color
pattern. Whooping Cranes have a long, straight beak. They fly with their neck
outstretched, their long legs trailing behind.
black on a Whooping Crane's wings is limited to the primary feathers.
Goose wings also have black in the primary feathers, as Whooping
Cranes. But Snow Goose legs don’t extend behind. Their
neck doesn’t stretch out as far as a crane’s.
late summer and fall, young Snow Geese have dark along the trailing
edge of their wings, so a family group doesn’t show the
same clean black-and-white appearance as a crane family does.
Snow Geese very often are seen in flocks mixed with “blue
geese” (a dark color form of Snow Geese) and with Canada
Geese, so if very dark birds are in the same group as black-and-white
birds, they may be geese.
of a White Ibis stretches forward and their legs stretch behind like
cranes’, but their bill is down-curved.
on White Ibis wings is limited to the very tips of the four outermost
primary wing feathers.
in the wings of American White Pelicans extends along the secondary wing
feathers. These birds have very short legs.
the neck of an American White Pelican is fairly short relative to their
head and massive bill, this can be tricky to see if the birds are very
high in the air. But their overall shape is shorter and wider than
are found in Florida and surrounding areas. The black area in their wings extends
along the entire trailing edge of the wing, longer than these other species.
Wood Storks have
a dark head, and the beak is downcurved.
Now, what do you
know for sure about the birds in this photo?
Copyright Journey North. All Rights Reserved.