For us nature photographers who are lucky enough to live in Florida, when the shorebirds of Spring and Summer all leave their nesting areas, we wait with great anticipation for December, when the season starts all over again.

Natures Portal - Nancy Elwood

So December rolled around and as if nature wanted to reward our patience, our wetland areas started filling with our favorite species of birds. You see, for the most part, except for the smaller birds, such as the warblers, the birds in Florida do not necessarily migrate. They have their nesting areas or rookeries and then the areas they spend the rest of the year within the state. When, in December, they start returning to their nesting areas, their appearances start to change. Their colors start to get vibrant and they develop plumage that is shown off during displays to attract a mate and for bonding behaviors once a mate is found. The first ones to start things off in my very favorite wetlands, The Rich Grissom Memorial Wetlands in Viera, Florida, are the Great Blue Herons and Anhingas.