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Waders and Swimmers include the ducks, geese, herons, egrets, teal, grebes, gulls, cormorants and anything else that I think might fit.? One of the books I have calls them waterbirds and near-shore birds.

Into the pictures, then!

I love the upturned beak on the Avocet, and it has beautiful colors in its breeding plumage. This picture dates from early 2008.

American Avocet

There are a ton of coots in the area. The coots were all over the lawn by the fountain in Fountain Hills when we were there. I gathered that some residents thought they were water-foul, not waterfowl!

American Coot

Canada Geese (not “Canadian”!) are the world’s largest pigeons, or so some folks seem to think. Some of them have forgotten to go north in the summer…

Canada Geese

Look at the hook on that beak! This was taken recently at the Water Ranch. This one is a Neotropic Cormorant. It has a different look to the area around the beak than the Double-crested Cormorant.

Cormorant Close-up

This is a Double-crested Cormorant. See the orange around the beak. The picture was taken at a pond in Scottsdale. The cormorants all perch in the tops of the palm trees.

Cormorant in Palm

The grebe (the little gray one with the brown feathers on his head) was a long distance away, so this was zoomed out as far as I could get it. The grebe was in full breeding plumage, but it was the only one we spotted that day that was.

Eared Grebe and Ring-necked Ducks

The Great Egrets are the bigger white ones, the cormorants the black… Early 2008 at the Water Ranch.

Egrets and Cormorants

Check out the colors on the Great Blue Heron (on the left) compared to the ones in the following pictures. Among the waders and swimmers around here, the Great Blue is royalty. Water Ranch, 2008.

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret

Looks like it’s laughing, doesn’t it?

Great Blue Heron Open Beaked

I like this one. Very important heron striding along…

Striding Heron

A Green Heron: It’s amazing that a big, long neck is folded into that plumage. From the Water Ranch, New Years Day, 2009.

Green Heron 2

This is another long zoom. Birds are just not all that considerate. Taken at the Water Ranch in late 2008. See the white vertical stripe – it’s a Green-winged Teal…

Green-Winged Teal

And yet another long zoom. The Hooded Merganser’s on the left, the American Widgeon on the right. Behind them is a Northern Shoveler. This was taken at a Scottsdale pond in February 2008 or so.

Hooded Merganser and American Widgeon

Water Ranch again, and the Killdeers are quite common there.

Killdeer 2

Check out that Pintail tail! And I like the white racing stripe on the bill, too. Water Ranch, New Years Day, 2009.

Northern Pintail

What a beak! When they say “shovel” they mean it…

Northern Shoveler 2

Pied-billed Grebe: low in the water, stripe across the beak. Water Ranch, yet again…

Pied-billed Grebe

Why these aren’t Ring-beaked Ducks, I don’t know.

Ring-necked Duck

See the neck ring? I’ve seen a lot of these ducks and this is the only picture I have that shows it.

Ring-Necked Ducks with Rings Showing

Too bad the yellow feet don’t show in this Snowy Egret shot. They’re quite spectacular on the end of the black legs…

Snowy Egret

Black-necked Stilts are common in the winter at both the Water Ranch and the Scottsdale ponds. It’s fun to watch the Dowitchers – they look like little sewing machines, or maybe hyperactive oil well pump jacks…

Stilt and Dowitcher

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