It’s prom season at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
Fall is the time for young birds to gather in flocks and socialize. Like teenagers at the junior prom, they strut, preen and dance. Juvenile White Ibises show off their moves.
Juvenile birds have their own fashion style; they never dress like the grown-ups. White Ibis favor brown; Little Blue Herons wear white. It’s all so confusing. Especially when the adult chaperones are around. Here’s an adult White Ibis in white plumage with four young Ibis. In front is a Greater Yellowlegs; center rear is a Great Egret, and all the way in the back a juvenile Little Blue Heron.
A Tri-colored Heron paces the dance floor.
In the evening the birds come to the woods along Beach Road. Loblolly pines offer a nice perch to soak up the late day sun. Twelve Snowy Egrets, three White Ibis… and a partridge in a pine tree?
A shy young Black-crowned Night-heron waits for a dance invitation.
Double-crested Cormorants hang out in the small stream that bordered the road. Somebody’s gotta handle the refreshments.
Great Blue Heron. There are a lot of wallflowers at this prom.
The highlight of the evening is the crowning of the Prom King and Queen. This year the honor goes to a pair of White Ibises.