A gray, rainy day. My husband calls on the cell phone.
"Look out the window. There's a turkey in the back yard!"
Meleagris gallopavo, eating clover.
I duck-walk below window level to grab the camera.
And spy this out the kitchen window:
Snowy Egret, Egretta thula.
This was the first time we'd seen only one turkey. Normally they're in flocks. It seemed awfully large for a female, and we wondered if it might be a first-year male. I'm not sure when they develop the red color on their heads or when they grow their beards. I couldn't find any info about that online, so if you know please feel free to instruct me!
The Snowy (a new yard bird for us) hung around the rest of the afternoon, foraging in the pond. In the past we've only seen them at the beach I think, so this was the first time we'd noticed foot-stirring behavior.
"Look at him, what in the world is he doing shuffling his feet like that?!" He'd take one foot, and move it ahead in the shallow water in a back and forth motion. Like he was stirring up the mud on the bottom.
Ah, YouTube to the rescue. There's a video of the behavior here. Our guy was moving much more slowly and deliberately though, and the behavior was more obvious since the water was so shallow.
From what I read online, that behavior is used to forage for crustaceans. In the time we watched, he didn't catch any of those, but did score one small fish and one rock (which he threw back).