The magical flights of Everglades birds

Photos by Michael Stern

Feathered friends led to the wings of man

Up, up and away, scores of birds, mighty and scrawny, flap their wings, going airborne, twisting and turning, over the vast, swampy Everglades, descending to branches to rest or shallow lagoons to hunt for food. Since ancient times, birds, such as tri-color herons, great blue herons, great egrets, reddish egrets, snowy egrets, ibises, ospreys, black-necked stilts and brown pelicans, shown in this slide show, have been the subject of dreams and inspirations of man. The Wright Brothers studied soaring birds from 1897 to 1899 at a picnic area south of Dayton, Ohio while forming plans for a flying machine. Reflecting on their first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 1903, which lasted 12 seconds, Orville Wright, the pilot, later said, “Learning the secret of flight from a bird was a good deal like learning the secret of magic from a magician.’’

More like this: Lead | Wild Things

Back to Top

4 responses to “The magical flights of Everglades birds”

  1. Joseph B. Treaster says:

    I never get tired of watching these graceful creatures. What great photography.

  2. Ed Domansky says:

    Excellent photos. Amazing to see the beauty of these birds and to imagine the peacefulness of their flight …

  3. Kristina Schenck says:

    Phenomenal and wow, what a wide variety of beak shapes and sizes.

  4. That’s a very nice compilation of pictures! And very interesting to know how many species of birds we have near us!