Masked Lapwing

masked lapwing

The masked lapwing is a long-legged shorebird that spends most of its time raking the ground with its feet to unearth insects and worms to eat. The lapwing aggressively defends its nest during breeding season, dive bombing intruders or acting as if it has a broken wing to lure intruders away.



Wading in shallow water, the hamerkop rakes its bill along the bottom in search of frogs and fish. Every so often, the bird flaps its wings to flush prey out of hiding. It also hunts on the fly. Spotting prey from above, the hamerkop dives down to scoop it up.

Boat-billed Heron

Boat-billed Heron (17) web

Roosting in the trees during the day, the boat-billed heron comes down at dusk to hunt.  Standing still in shallow water, the heron waits for small aquatic creatures to pass by and scoops them up with its wide bill.

Tri-colored Heron

tri colored heron web

The tri-colored heron’s long legs, long neck, and long beak are all good for wading in shallow water and catching fish and other small aquatic creatures. They roost in colonies and build stick nests in trees or bushes near the water’s edge.

Scarlet Ibis

scarlet ibis

Ibises have distinctive beaks that reflect their eating habits.  The long, narrow, down-curved beak probes through the mud, finding small creatures that are hidden from view.  To afford greater protection against predators, the scarlet ibis gathers in large breeding colonies and roosts high up in the trees close to water.

Sandhill Crane

sandhill crane web

Like all cranes, sandhill cranes are “dancers”.  A male and female will show each other attention by leaping, bowing, running, stretching their necks, and flapping their wings. Sometimes they sing while they dance and sound very much like a trumpet.

Saddlebill Stork


The saddlebill stork slowly wades through shallow water as it probes with its bill for fish and other underwater creatures. It quickly strikes to grasp or impale fish with its sharp bill. It often washes the prey in the water before swallowing it head-first.

Greater Flamingo


A greater flamingo wades into shallow water on its long legs. Holding its head upside-down in the water, the flamingo swings its head side to side. It pumps water through the strainer-like edges of its unique beak to trap microscopic algae and small animals.

Black-faced Ibis

black faced ibis web

The black-faced ibis is a social bird that often feeds in small flocks. Its long legs, long flexible neck, and long sensitive bill are made for wading through grasses and shallow water and probing the mud for small animal prey.