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The Great Egrets

Great Egrets are seen here in The Villages, FL, all year around.  The Great Egrets are the larger of the egrets.  One picture here is showing the Snowy Egret next to the towering Great Egret.

The Great Egrets frequent the marshes, lakes, golf ponds, and even flowerbeds and landscaping around buildings here in The Villages, FL as well as other places in the USA.

Great Egrets enjoy eating aquatic animals such as fish, frogs, smaller turtles, some aquatic snails, baby alligators, ducklings, goslings, and shore critters such as mice, lizards and smaller snakes.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!  This is dedicated to the memory of those who died in service to the country.  Happy Memorial Day to all.

 

 

 

 

Great Egret

I spotted this Red-tailed Hawk perched in the boughs of a lovely Cypress Tree on the banks of the little Lake Mira-Mar in The Villages, FL near the Spanish Springs square.  This lake is next to The Sharon auditorium as well as a recreation center and the Veteran’s Memorial park.  The lake is used for model boat sailing and racing, kayaking, a limited amount of catch and bird watching, The lake attracts White Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Anhinga, ducks by the dozens, and occasionally Wood Storks, Tri-colored Herons, Great Egrets, and Snowy Egrets.

The hawk was attracted by the presence of ducklings.  I think there were four little Florida Mottled Ducks,  following their mother.  Hawks love ducklings for dinner.  I doubt this hawk got lucky as Mother Duck spotted the bird of prey and moved the babies elsewhere.  I took these pictures on Sunday evening at dinner time.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

I spotted this pair of Sandhill Cranes standing next to the golf cart path on Sumter County Road 466 on the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course in The Villages, FL on Sunday night at about 5:30pm.

It is not too unusual to see Sandhill Cranes on the courses here in The Villages. They love browsing for grass, seeds, and insects.  Of course the tender grass is easy on their feet and most of the courses have a pond for them to drink from.  I think the Sandhill Cranes pictured are Florida natives.  We have several breeding pairs in the area.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

This Limpkin has visited the little Lake Mira-Mar in The Villages, FL near Spanish Springs several times.  I have previously photographed the big wading bird at this same location.  I usually see the Limpkin at the Veteran’s Park area next to the golf cart path at the approach to the golf cart bridge.  The bird is pretty secretive and is usually nocturnal so the best times to see it would be early in the morning and at dusk.  I took these pictures at dinner-time last night.

Limpkins are a wading bird that love eating the aquatic Apple Snails found in the small lakes here in The Villages.  There are not very many Limpkins around at all.  I have only seen three (and one of my sightings may well have been this bird at a different spot).  The Limpkins are marsh birds that are primarily living here in Florida in the USA.

These birds are vaguely similar in looks to juvenile White Ibis, juvenile Green Herons and Bitterns.  All are about the same size and have a streaky brown coloring.  The Limpkin the only bird of its family type and is not related to rails or even the cranes.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Exotic Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese are apparently making a home for themselves here in the United States.  I have occasionally spotted pairs or small groups of these African immigrant geese during the last couple of years.

I also recently saw a photo from Texas where a pair of Egyptian Geese were strolling around a golf course.  I think that may have been the idea of bringing these geese here from Africa.  The Egyptian Geese are lovely and seem to have an OK temperament.  I took these pictures on Lake Paradise on May 9, 2017. I also earlier spotted Egyptian Geese at the lake behind Freedom Pointe in The Villages, where there were a family of these geese, but that was about two months back.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.

This sassy Eastern Blue Jay visited my neighborhood on Monday afternoon.  I was quite happy to have seen this newcomer.  We don’t get a lot of Blue Jays here.  This bird was scouting out the sassy lawns (pretty dried out now and tan showing through the green) for tasty bugs to eat.

The jay squawked at me a couple of times and then flew to a neighboring roof to continue its search for a bite to eat.  After a moment it was on to other places.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  By the way, please bear with me while I change over to a different photo edit picture loading software.  Aperture is giving me a very hard time now days.  Thanks!

 

 

 

Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida has an amazing number of birds visiting these days.  Of course with the water level so low, there has been very easy access to fish, frogs, tadpoles, turtles, aquatic insects, and aquatic plants.  The supermarket for birds has been open for fine dining and the birds have been loving it.  No rain other than our big storm on Saturday.  That helped a tiny bit. I was glad for the moisture.

I took these pictures on Sunday early in the evening.  I spotted the flock of White Pelicans, a Great Blue Heron, a pair of Egyptian Geese, a few Double Crested Cormorants, lots of Canada Geese, a flock of White Ibis, several small shorebirds, crows, and the usual Mallard and Mottled Ducks.  I never know what birds will be there so it is a lot of fun to check on the visitors.  I think they also somehow check on us, too!  Ha!

Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that picture.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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