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Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

Common Moorhens and Common Coots

A Pair of Common Moorhens

Both the Common Moorhens and the Common Coots are here in The Villages, FL during the winter months.  We also have moorhens here all year long but do have many more around in the winter.

Common Moorhens show different coloring between the genders while mostly the coots are just a charcoal black.  Moorhen drakes are also charcoal while the hens are a brown color.  Moorhens have a fleshy red growth on their faces and the coots have a white growth.  Both types are members of the Rail family of water birds.  Both look like a cross between a chicken and a duck.  Moorhens and coots live in marshes, lakes, ponds, and slow streams.  The coots and moorhens are good at flight.  The coots form “Rafts” which are huge numbers of birds paddling together on a body of water.  Coots are more flock birds while the Moorhens are often in pairs or small groups.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Common Coot

A Raft of Common Coots

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Best of Eight Years of this Blog

Wood Stork (The Villages, FL)

Happy New Year!  Wildlife watching has been a pleasure the past eight years!  I am celebrating an amazing eight years of writing and sharing my photography on this blog.  Thank you to my loyal and new readers.  The purpose of this blog has always been to share the magnificent wildlife around us via the pictures and descriptions I give here.

I so appreciate everyone who participates via the comments section and occasionally gives me photography pointers or help identifying a particular bird.  You have been with me from Crossville, TN (and Fairfield Glade) to Ocala, Florida and now to The Villages, Florida.

A happy eight years of birding and enjoying the views of nature and occasionally other kinds of animals!  So again, Happy New Year and happy wildlife watching, wherever you may be!  As ever, please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  These are a few of my favorite pictures over the last eight years!

Green Heron (Fairfield Glade, TN on Lake St. George)

Grizzly Bear (Yellowstone National Park)

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL)

 

 

Osprey (at the Dora Canal in FL)

Golden Marmot (Yellowstone National Park)

White Pelicans (Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL)

 

 

Canada Geese (at the little farm in Crossville, TN)

Roseate Spoonbill Birds (Sanibel Island, FL)

White-tailed Deer (at the little farm in Crossville, TN)

Waterfowl and Wading Birds

Hooded Merganser Ducks at Lake Mira-mar

Great Egrets; White Pelicans; Snowy Egrets; Wood Storks; Pied-billed Grebes; Hooded Mergansers; Lesser Scaup Ducks; Mallard Ducks; Black-bellied Whistling Ducks; Great Blue Herons; Seagulls; Common Coots; Moorhens; Double-crested Cormorants;  Egyptian Geese; Canada Geese; White Ibis; Florida Mottled Ducks; Little Blue Herons, Anhingas; and to a lesser extent Sandhill Cranes; Glossy Ibis; and Limpkins, all are currently to be seen here in The Villages, FL on lakes, ponds, and park-like lawns.

Of course, I am only showing just a few here on today’s post.  It is such fun to see the big birds en-mass, at various times.  By the way, the roost area on Morse Ave. near Rio Grande that had been abandoned for about a year, is back to being used by at least the White Ibises and a few egrets!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Pied-billed Grebe at Lake Mira-mar

Snowy Egrets, Seagulls, Pelican, Wood Stork, all at Freedom Pointe Lake

A Few Songbirds

Sparrow

A feisty Eastern Blue Jay, A Palm Warbler, an Eastern Bluebird, and a House Sparrow were all spotted here in my neighborhood and community last week.  I took these pictures early in the morning when it is probably the best time to see many birds out feeding.

There was a large flock of the warblers mixed-in with the sparrows visiting my street.  Both types of birds eat on the ground browsing for seeds in the lawns.  The Blue Jay was spotted at the Freedom Pointe lakeshore parking lot up in a big Live Oak.  The bluebird is seen from time to time on a neighbors roof.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Palm Warbler

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Blue Jay

Lots of Waterfowl and Wading Birds

Sandhill Cranes at a pond on Morse near Live Oak Park

Egrets, Herons, Wood Storks, Sandhill Cranes, Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorants, Seagulls, and Common Coots were all spotted here on Freedom Pointe Lake and Lake Sumter in The Villages, FL this last weekend.  What a bunch of wonderful birds to observe!

This area has a lot of ponds, small lakes and medium lakes plus marsh lands so there is a great many spots to observe the wildlife.  We get a lot of different species of birds here in the Winter months.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version.  Enjoy!

Cormorants, Egrets and Seagulls at Freedom Pointe Lake

Wood Storks and Anhingas

Great Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe Lake

 

A Raft of Common Coots on Lake Sumter

A Common Coot on Lake Sumter

A Double-Crested Cormorant on Freedom Pointe Lake

Woodpecker Wednesday

This Red-bellied Woodpecker was quite noisily chatty when flying between a Washington Palm and a bountiful acorn-filled Live Oak at the shoreline of the pretty Freedom Pointe Lake here in The Villages, Florida on Sunday morning, Dec. 17, 2017.  I just love these boisterous birds!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Pelicans on the Pond!

White Pelicans are Winter visitors here in The Villages, Florida.  We love seeing the large flocks that appear around the beginning of December and stay through February and sometimes, March.  We have a lot of small lakes brimming with fish, frogs, small turtles, baby alligators and larger aquatic insects for the big birds to dine on.

The pelicans are accompanied by Double Crested Cormorants which dive and herd the fish to help both species catch their meals.

I also noted a number of beautiful Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets both in their breeding plumage, were with the pelicans and cormorants.  All these birds were sunning themselves on the shoreline of the lovely El Santiago golf course pond (on Enrique Dr.) yesterday morning.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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