Florida, USA, is home to many aquatic haunts— swamps, estuaries, springs, and rivers. The winters in the region feel like summers in Britain. Understandably, from November to March, many tourists visit this land. Humans are not the only beings to grace this place with their presence. Apart from them, many beautiful feathery friends tend to vacation here during the cold months.
One of the main attractions in Florida in the course of this period is several migratory birds, whom, the marshlands here, lure in. A whole village of big and small raptors can be seen living here. Among them, the white-colored ones are the most spectacular.
We have brought some factual information about a few white birds that can be spotted in Florida, which is as follows:-
1. Whooping Crane
Height: 4ft. 1in. to 5ft. 3in.
Weight: 4.5 kg. to 8.5 kg.
Lifespan: 22-24 years
Adult whooping cranes have a considerably white body. Their crown area is a little red. They have long and dark beaks and legs. During the flight, black tips of their wings can be easily seen. The young ones are amber-brown.
They mainly eat aquatic animals such as fish, clams, crabs, etc. They hunt in shallow water. They also eat vegetation they find on the ground like corn and berries.
These white birds pair for life. The male is known to guard his territory/nest against intruders by stabbing with beak or slashing by feet. They don’t journey in large groups. Traveling with mates and offsprings is only the company they need.
2. Male Bufflehead
Height: 30in. To 33in. Height: 13in. To 16in. Weight: 270g. To 550g. Lifespan: 2.5 years in the wild, however, can live for more than 15 years in ideal circumstances
The head of a male bufflehead is lustrous green-purple, and there is a white blotch at the rear of the eye. It habitually enlarges its head by puffing it out.
Male buffleheads feed underwater. They like to hunt typically in shallow depths. However, they have been observed foraging for food in saltwater. From ponds and lakes, they are interested in eating aquatic plants, clams, snails, etc. On the coast side, they look mainly for crabs, fish eggs, shrimps, and many other similar creatures.
A typical day in the life of this bird consists of different sessions of diving for food, preening, swimming, and dozing. They are rarely seen spending time on the land. And are impressively agile.
These males are keepers as they prefer monogamy. But, they leave incubatory duties to females.
3. Masked Booby
Height: 30in. To 33in. Weight: 1.2kg. To 2.2kg. Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
A masked booby has a zorro-like black mask around the eyes and a long neck. Its body is gleaming white with black wings and tail. The males are a little leaner than the females.
This bird is a striking and dramatic diver that can plunge into the sea from a height of more than 100 ft., to hunt for fish. Flying fish, tuna, mackerel, needlefish, flying squid; you name it, and masked booby eats it. Its diet includes small octopus as well.
A monogamous bird it is highly possessive of its mate. The male indulges in agonistic exhibits to make other males and intruders aware of its territory. They show affection towards their respective mate through slight jabbing and preening them. The females are gifted sticks and scraps by the male, making the intention of nesting together clear. It eventually leads to mating.
4. Snow Goose (white morph)
Height: 25in. To 31in. Weight: 2kg. To 2.7kg Lifespan: 15 years
The body is white as a whole, except for black-tipped wings. Legs and feet are light brown, and the beak is light reddish-brown. The offsprings have bodies wholly covered with down feathers.
They are quintessentially vegetarians. Their menu includes shrubs, seeds, roots. They can rip off the entire stem from the ground at times to eat. They also are observed eating fruits and flowers.
They mate with someone who looks the same as them or as their parents. For sleeping, they assume a sitting position or stand on one leg. They are sturdy and efficient swimmers. They prefer walking when searching for food. They usually build a nest near marshy areas. Ponds are their favorite. Nest-building is the responsibility of females entirely. The male acts as a guard towards his family.