Large Birds I Have Seen
Here are pictures of some large birds that I've had the opportunity to see in the past few years. As for great white egrets, I saw them many times in greater Miami, when I lived there in 1992 and 1993. I've seen some also in greater Los Angeles as recently as 2004. To me, this is the most beautiful of all birds, and the photograph below, though breathtaking, still does not do the bird justice.
I saw albatrosses in March, 2007, in southern Chile and Argentina, around the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego. I'm not certain of the species, but I think the birds that I saw look very much like wandering albatrosses.
I've seen Canada geese in various places, particularly around Chicago and Los Angeles. They arrive in Los Angeles in November, returning to the north in spring. I love Canada geese, because they are good-natured and friendly. I envy also their mastery of air, water and earth. I feel they must inwardly view me with contempt, as a land-bound type, but they take my offerings of bread anyway.
Andean condors I have seen throughout the Andes and also in Central America. They are not pretty birds, but they are great fliers.
Rheas are American ostriches that live in Paraguay and environs. The zoo in Asunción has a couple dozen. They stand no more than five feet tall, much smaller than their African relatives.
I was lucky enough to see anhingas and cormorants, closely related to each other, repeatedly, in Florida and California respectively. These birds lack sebaceous glands and must dry their wings by displaying them in the sun. When you see how they do it, as in the picture of the anhinga below, you can recognize them anywhere.
In the same places, I saw brown pelicans, singly and in flocks of as many as 20 or 30. These very large birds keep their distance from human beings and mammals, but seem to recognize other birds, regardless of their size, as comrades.
Another bird eminently visible in Florida is the turkey vulture. According to the latest zoological thinking, new world vultures are now considered ciconiiform birds, like storks. I'm skeptical. There's no telling what some expert might claim that DNA testing proves.
Great White Egret (Casmerodius albus;
also Egretta alba, Ardea alba)
Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus)
Rhea (Rhea americana)
Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga)
Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus)
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Great White Egret (Casmerodius albus):
Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans):
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis):
Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus):
Rhea (Rhea americana):
Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga):
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis):
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura):