Junior Prom

141017_Chincoteague NWR_9813acsIt’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.

141018_Chincoteague NWR AM Swan Cove_0168aJuvenile 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.

141018_Chincoteague NWR AM Swan Cove_0464acsA Tri-colored Heron paces the dance floor.

141017_Chincoteague NWR_9868acsIn 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?

141017_Chincoteague NWR_9649acsA shy young Black-crowned Night-heron waits for a dance invitation.

141018_Chincoteague NWR_0849axsDouble-crested Cormorants hang out in the small stream that bordered the road. Somebody’s gotta handle the refreshments.

141018_Chincoteague NWR_0841aGreat Blue Heron. There are a lot of wallflowers at this prom.

141017_Chincoteague NWR_9753acsThe highlight of the evening is the crowning of the Prom King and Queen. This year the honor goes to a pair of White Ibises.

141017_Chincoteague NWR_9784acsProm pictures are de rigueur.

141017_Chincoteague NWR_9816acsTime to take a bow. It’s been some enchanted evening!