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Birds

Piping Plover

Piping Plovers forage between the waterline and the dry sand higher on the beach with a run, stop, peck and run again approach. They are stocky little birds with a short neck, stubby bill and a rounded body perched on two orange legs.

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Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinules are generally found walking through the brush or over vegetation at the edge of ponds and streams. Their long toes - which are attached to long, yellow legs - make it easy for them to stand on roots, stems and lily pads.

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Red-bellied Woodpecker

First of all, Red-bellied Woodpeckers do not have a red belly, beyond an occasional pale smudge. They do have a striking red cowl that runs from their bill, over the top of their head and down the back of their neck.

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Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbirds are hard to mistake, clinging to reeds in the wind or perched on fence posts in almost every fresh or saltwater wetland, field or brushy area. They are among the most common birds in parks and refuges along the Gulf Coast.

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Reddish Egret

Reddish Egrets have a long, slender neck and a shaggy, rufous plume around the head and neck. Adults have a distinctive pink bill tipped in black.

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Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbills are almost a cartoon bird, with a ridiculous spatula for a bill, a bald head, bright pink and scarlet plumage and an awkward takeoff that appears to require tremendous effort.

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Royal Tern

Royal Terns are downsized versions of a Caspian Tern with a few subtle distinctions. First, their bill is more orange than red and lacks the dusky tip. Second, their black cap has a shaggy crest and retreats in the off season to reveal a white forehead. And, finally, they don't have the broad, sweeping wings of their cousin.

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Sanderling

Sanderlings rarely sit still, scooting rapidly between advancing and retreating water on the beach in a start-and-stop motion, their small black legs moving so fast that they're almost a blur.

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