2015-08-13 / Nature

Summer Birds and Surprises


The translucent wings of a widow skimmer are among the many surprises that await nature enthusiasts on Aquidneck Island. The translucent wings of a widow skimmer are among the many surprises that await nature enthusiasts on Aquidneck Island. This is an excellent time of year to view the behaviors of wildlife and to observe avian species which are only present during spring and summer.

August marks the beginning of migration for a number of avian species, including shorebirds, seabirds, and early migrant songbirds. While these birds are on the move, many locally-nesting osprey adults are teaching their young to fish in the ponds and wetlands of our beautiful island, in preparation for their long distance trek to South America in late September.

Wading birds such as great egrets, snowy egrets, green herons, great blue herons and others are leading their juvenile young to area wetlands for flight and foraging lessons. One juvenile green heron played hide and seek with birdwatchers at Gooseneck Cove on a recent morning. A few daring fiddler crabs ventured out of their burrows in search of nourishment, but quickly retreated at the sight of the hungry birds.


An American goldfinch hunts from a perch. An American goldfinch hunts from a perch. Shorebirds are utilizing beaches and rocky shorelines for resting and foraging stopovers on their way south. One particularly active area is the rocky shoreline at Brenton Point State Park, which has been the destination for a large number of migrants. – Jack Kelly



Juvenile great blue heron. (Photos by Jack Kelly) Juvenile great blue heron. (Photos by Jack Kelly)

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