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Author Archives: Scott Clark

I’m a digital journalist who’s worked as a photographer, reporter, producer and editor. My interest in the natural history of my surroundings reaches back to my early days beachcombing on the Jersey coast, rowing my boat on a quiet lake in Missouri and, more recently, discovering the mountains and backwoods of Montana, where I was born.

Common Moorhen

Common Moorhens forage in freshwater marshes, ponds and lazy rivers, walking and swimming in aquatic vegetation, picking at seeds, snails, grasses and aquatic insects.

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Common Tern

Common Terns fly buoyantly along the shoreline and rivers, using their long, pointed wings to make graceful turns, hover and plunge headlong into the water in pursuit of small fish.

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Dunlins forage on Gulf Coast beaches and mudflats, both alone and in large flocks in the hundreds. During breeding season they are hard to mistake for other shorebirds, with their long, drooping bill, rufous plumage and distinctive black patch on their belly.

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Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Herons are the largest of the herons, flying majestically with strong, steady beats of their enormous wings. They typically feed alone while wading slowly in the quiet waters of a marsh or slough, often standing upright and motionless as they search the surrounding water for prey.

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King Rail

King Rails are shy and usually found in the dense vegetation of freshwater marshes, where their colors blend in with the background. You're more likely to hear them than see them.

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Laughing Gull

Laughing Gulls are beggars, scavengers and thieves. They'll entice handouts from visitors on the beach or people hanging off the stern a boat. They'll rummage through a garbage dump or steal food from the bills of pelicans, terns and other shorebirds.

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Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpipers are the smallest of the shorebirds - the smallest of the "peeps". They are readily identifiable by their diminutive stature and yellow legs, distinguishing them from the slightly larger and black-legged Semipalmated and Western sandpipers.

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