Gone fishin’ a lifestyle for Gulf birds

They’re no birdbrains-- shadows yield food

Under brilliant early-morning sun, colorful shore birds, often solitary, tiptoe on steady, twig-like legs through mere inches of sparkling water along the Southwest coast of Florida. This photo slide show documents a wide variety of hungry birds from Fort Myers to around Marco Island. Before spearing minnows and small crustaceans, the graceful egrets and herons spread their wings to cast practical shadows over the tranquil waters. The shade enables them to better hunt for their lunch. Sandpipers, black-necked stilts and the ibis, also in the slide show, are exceptions to the shadow-fishing technique.

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