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Ecotourism on Florida's Space Coast

Black Point Wildlife Drive

Bird Photography by Harriet Treider

There is something about focusing on a bird through the viewfinder of my single lens reflex that gives me a feeling like no other. Waiting for that perfect moment, when the subject of my camera shows his finest side, the weight of the demands of daily life seems to just lift off my shoulders.

At times like this, I'm free, free to express myself, free to take in the sounds, the smells, and sights of the natural beauty that surrounds me.

For this reason, I find myself continuously drawn to Black Point Wildlife Drive. Located on the Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge, Black Point offers the opportunity to experience some of the Nation's most diverse bird population. Driving along this route takes you through a variety of wetland habitats and gives you the opportunity to get closer to these birds and experience their lives first hand. Another advantage to Black Point Wildlife Drive is the fact that birds are much more tolerant of cars than they are of people themselves. Driving along Black Point allows you to get much closer to these beautiful creatures than you would ever get on foot, so by using your car as a photo blind, you can get closeup shots that are normally reserved for the pros armed with their 600 mm lenses.
Below are some of my favorite photos that I have taken at Black Point. It is my hope that you will enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed creating them.

These two Great Egrets are some of the more common and yet beautiful birds that can be photographed at Black Point. The one on the left is a male starting to grow his breeding plummage. Great Egrets can be distinguished from Snowy Egrets like the ones below by some easily identifiable clues. Great egrets are larger and have yellow beaks and black legs and feet. Snowy Egrets on the other hand have slender black beaks, black legs; and, although you can't see them in the photographs below, bright yellow feet.

Snowy Egrets are one of my favorite birds to photograph. I was fortunate in that these two were at the water's edge right alongside the roadway. Driving slowly around Black Point Wildlife Drive will provide numerous opportunities to get closeups such as these.

This is a Great Blue Heron photographed against the backdrop of the salt marsh vegetation of Black Point.

This is another Great Egret photographed against a backdrop of White Mangrove Trees. These shoreline trees provide some of the most important habitat in the entire Indian River Lagoon System

This bird used to be known as a Lousiana Heron but today is known as a Tricolored Heron. They grow to be slightly smaller than a Great Blue Heron.

This Tricolored Heron is posing for me on top of one of the culvert markers

This is an Immature White Ibis. When this bird matures he will be almost pure white and the beak will take on a reddish coloration. This is one of my favorite photographs due to the glassy smooth surface of the water

These are a pair of mature White Ibis.

This is one of the smaller heron species, a Green Backed Heron.

EMAIL; Harriet Treider

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