Great Blue Herons are commonly seen here in Central Florida including The Villages. These wading birds are very tall, are grey, black, and white with a long sharp yellow bill. The Great Blue Herons are wading birds that frequent ponds, marshes, rivers, and lakes.
The Great Blue Herons are champion hunters as they eat a wide variety of different fish, crawfish, frogs, eggs, ducklings, mice, snakes and larger insects both in and out of the water – they do tend to stick to the shoreline or she shallow water. They are great at flight and often will let out a squawk when alarmed. Great Blue Herons live in communal nesting areas called “Rookeries” that are most often located in the crowns of trees such as pines, and oaks or other tall sturdy trees.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of these older photos I have taken in the last several months here. My husband has been ill so I have not been out taking pictures much in recent weeks. I do apologize for this late post. I hope to be out birding soon!
Please click on the thumbnail to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Young Adult White Ibis
White Ibis have been occasionally strolling around the neighborhood looking for tasty bites in the lawns and gardens here. Our weather has been rainy with nearly daily thunderstorms happening in the afternoon hours. I have not been out and about much both due to the weather and my husband being ill.
I did go out yesterday to the neighborhood lake and saw a pair of Muscovy Ducks paddling around which is not a usual sight on our lake. I also saw a Great Egret in the distance on the far shoreline. Not much to report due to weather and nesting season underway for many of the birds, not to mention, molting going on for many birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Roseate Spoonbills, Sandhill Cranes, Wood Storks, Limpkins, a Black Crowned Night Heron, Egyptian Geese, White-phase Little Blue Herons, and Green Herons have all been photographed in freshwater marshes (sometimes referred to as “Prairies”), ponds, and small lakes here in or near The Villages, Florida. I love seeing these birds!
The Roseate Spoonbill (only seen here once in the four years I have lived here, the Black-crowned and White Little Blue Heron have to be the most seldom seen here of all of the above mentioned wading birds. The most common are the Wood Storks and Sandhill Cranes among the ones I am featuring today. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Phase Little Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Roseate Spoonbill with Great Egrets
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Have a wonderful 4th of July holiday if you celebrate. Enjoy!
Egrets abound here in The Villages and in Central Florida around ponds, lakes, streams and marshlands. Great Egrets sometimes do hunt in landscaped areas near homes and businesses as they will eat snakes mice and lizards if hungry. We mostly have Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and Cattle Egrets here in Central Florida. I have included a photo of a white-phase Little Blue Heron which is very similar to the Snowy Egret.
The Cattle Egret is primarily found near cattle or horse pasture lands but also sometimes can be found near lakes and ponds where it drinks and sometimes hunts along the shore.
I have only seen one Reddish Egret here and that was near Dunellon about four years ago. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly smaller version of the photo. Enjoy!
White phase Little Blue Heron
Lesser Scaup Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks; Blue-winged Teal Ducks; Hooded Merganser Ducks; Lesser Scaup Ducks; Mallard Ducks, and Northern Shoveler Ducks are all seen at various times each year here in The Villages, Florida! I also have frequently seen our native Florida Mottled Ducks and Muscovy Ducks.
On vary rare occasions, other kinds of ducks such as Gadwalls; Red-heads; Wood Ducks, and my favorite, the little Bufflehead Ducks, can sometimes show up, too. I just love all of them! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that particular photo. Enjoy!
Drake Mallard Duck
Northern Shoveler Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Duck and Ducklings
Drake Hooded Merganser Duck
Blue-winged Teal Ducks
Hen Hooded Merganser Duck