Double-crested Cormorants roosting in the Live Oak Tree
American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants were spotted at dusk at the lovely Freedom Pointe Lake and parking lot of the assisted living complex in The Villages, Florida on Friday, March 2, 2018. The gigantic old Live Oaks around the lake-front parking lot have been the roosting place for the migratory Double-crested Cormorants each Winter. The asphalt of the parking lot under the trees also tells the tale that yes, many birds have roosted there for months now! This spot is an annual location for the cormorants. By the way, due to the increasingly darker skies, I have lightened up the photographs so you can more easily see the cormorants in the trees.
An Eastern point of the shoreline of the lake is where most of the flock of White Pelicans also congregate to spend the evening resting on the ground. Sometimes though, the flock chooses the opposite point of the shore. Both are favorite spots to see these pelicans in the late afternoon or early evening during the Winter months. I sure enjoy bird watching at this lake! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each picture. Enjoy!
American White Pelicans
This flock of Glossy Ibis were hanging out on the side of a freshwater marsh and golf course area here in The Villages, FL early this evening at about 5:00pm. This is the first time I have ever seen these two types of birds together. I also have never seen so many Glossy Ibis in one spot. These birds are a dark mahogany brown with blue-green accents and are oh-so-pretty! The Glossy Ibis’ feathers really shine in a metallic way when in breeding plumage (now).
The ducks are nearly the same color as the ibis. I also saw a scant few Mallards and some crows there too. A beautiful pair of Sandhill Cranes (photographs will be posted here in coming days) joined in the feeding frenzy. There must have been some really tasty stuff there – perhaps duck chow grain from a neighbor? Who can say. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Please click on the thumbnail version of each photograph of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks to see the slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
Double Crested Cormorants are frequently here on our ponds and lakes in the winter months here in The Villages, Florida. These birds enjoy the warm weather quite a lot and around ponds, lakes, rivers, and both fresh and salt water marsh-lands. Some of these cormorants are natives here but many are migrants from places north of us. I also have spotted Double-Crested Cormorants at marina docks on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico at Cedar Key here in Florida.
These water birds dive for fish, frogs, baby alligators, tender soft-shelled turtles and larger aquatic insects and aquatic mollusks. At times, Double-crested Cormorants are mixed in near the White Pelicans here. The Double-Crested Cormorants are similar in looks to the slightly smaller Anhinga birds. The Anhingas have a straight bill while there is a downward hook to the tip of the bill on the Double-Crested Cormorants. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Diving for a bit of food
Male Boat-tailed Grackle
Eastern Bluebirds, a Boat-tailed Grackle, a Tufted Titmouse, a lovely pair of Sandhill Cranes and a lot of White Ibis, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Anhingas were all spotted here in The Villages, FL in the last couple of days.
I took the photo of the roosting birds on Morse Blvd. just below Rio Grande, on Monday 2/19/18, at twilight. That roosting area was active for years, and then was abandoned for the last year. This marshland is once again wet, so hundreds of wading birds such as ibis, egrets, herons, and anhingas, are back every night to rest!
I took the photos of the songbirds, here in my neighborhood. The weather has been fine so the birds have been out and about much more! The photograph of the Sandhill Cranes was taken just off of Morse Blvd. along CR 466 along the multi-modal path. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.
White Ibis Heading to the Roost
Female Eastern Bluebird
Tufted titmouse on a Palm
White Pelicans at Freedom Pointe Lake
These American White Pelicans were spotted at Freedom Pointe Lake and the Torri Pines Golf Pond here in The Villages Florida a week ago. There are pelicans at several spots here this month. The White Pelicans love our warm winter weather and have come from the Mid-western U.S.A. to spend a few months each year.
Pelicans eat fish primarily but also will enjoy baby alligators, frogs, and smaller soft shell turtles. They fish by working cooperatively to encircle fish and then scoop them into their bill pouch. At times, the Double-crested Cormorants also work well with the pelicans to get their fish dinners. Most of the little lakes and ponds have plenty of food for the flocks of these big birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each photo. Enjoy!
American White Pelicans at Torri Pines Golf Course Pond
American White Pelican in Flight at Freedom Pointe Lake
This Wood Stork was spotted on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 on the shore of the lovely little golf course pond at the Torri Pines golf course in The Villages, FL. I had posted this past week about several different birds spotted there during that photo-taking visits.
We have a few Wood Storks here all year around but we do see more of these big birds in the winter months. The Wood Storks are usually seen in very small groups or as singles. I think I have only seen a larger group of maybe around a dozen Wood Storks together once here. Wood Storks mostly will hunt by scooping with their large sturdy bill into the water or softer mud. They eat small aquatic animals, aquatic insects, aquatic mollusks and these birds will occasionally eat grains roots and seeds.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!