A flock of White Ibis were strolling around the yards in my neighborhood yesterday afternoon. It has rained a lot so the big white birds were out for any earthworms or grubs they could find. The birds search with their rubbery long bills for their prey.
The White and brown bird is an older juvenile. These birds are a cocoa brown and white color as babies and gradually turn white as they age. The White Ibis are flock birds. I often joke that there are a “Herd” of ibis on the lawn as they tend to walk around in groups that resemble how cattle walk. Yes, a group of Ibis are really known as a flock.
These ibis roost as a flock, together in trees. Usually their roost is in lower tree branches over swamp wetlands where American Alligators patrol. Alligators below the roosts help the birds stay safe from Coyotes and Bobcats. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
This charming Wood Stork was hanging out with the Canada Geese and Egyptian Geese on the shoreline of Lake Paradise in The Villages a few days ago in the early evening. I have been occasionally seeing Wood Storks here recently but they are not common in the area.
The Wood Storks reportedly will fly up to 80 miles from their roosting nests to find food. These birds nest in tall trees over shallow water in marshes and swamps. The water under the nests prevents raccoons from eating the chicks or eggs when nests are occupied with young birds. I have not seen any Wood Stork nests here in our area. These birds have recently been on the endangered species lists so they are protected by law.
Wood Storks scoop up small fish, frogs, baby turtles, aquatic snails and some vegetation and seeds with their sturdy big bills. They do best on natural food and should not be fed by visitors to the park lakes. Wood Storks are pleasant quiet and in my opinion, charming, wild exotic birds. They are a real treasure! Please see the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Drake (male) Egyptian Goose in breeding plumage
Egyptian Geese were spotted at Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL on Tuesday evening at dusk. Until recently, I had not seen both genders together. There are not a lot of Egyptian Geese here so it was not readily apparent what both genders looked like in breeding plumage. I spotted two drakes and a single hen among lot of Canada Geese and a lone Wood Stork there at the lake.
All of the geese and the stork, were browsing on the grassy shoreline next to the golf cart multi-modal path (and meandering on that very path!). Note that in breeding colors, the males have the strong black barring and are a lot brighter in color than the females. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Pair of Egyptian Geese with a Canada Goose
This lovely Great Blue Heron was perched on the water-level gauge on the far arm at Boone Park, of the little Lake Paradise here in The Villages, FL. I took the pictures on Wednesday evening at around 6:30pm on a soggy night. I took the picture from our golf cart as it was lightly raining at the time. I think these big birds are often not too disturbed by people as the lake is a residential and recreational one. There are a lot of small homes and three parks on its shoreline. By the way, this morning is a bright Sunny one so our rain is diminishing!
This bird was out with a single duck, and Anhinga, and a wonderful Wood Stork. I think these birds were probably trying to get their evening meal in all the rain. It is fun to see the Great Blue Herons here as those big wading birds have a lot of personality. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
I love it when a photo turns out to show a reflection in the water of the bird paddling around, standing on the shore or walking around the shallows. There is something really beautiful about the reflections! I took these pictures at various times during the last year. It usually is easiest to get reflections in a picture on calm days at the end of the afternoon. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Drake Greater Scaup Duck
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are found at several of the small lakes and ponds here in The Villages, FL. These are wild ducks but have become used to living around people in the parks and backyards near the lakes. The Whistlers communicate via whistling calls instead of quacking like many other ducks to. The Whistlers are probably nesting now or will be soon.
This small group was relaxing on the shoreline of Lake Paradise as seen from across the lake from Schwartz Park. I took these pictures on Monday evening at dusk. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Canada Goslings were just hatched near Schwartz Park on Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL. It certainly seems to be that time of year when babies are all over the place here! I think these fuzz balls were probably less than three days old.
While I was out taking pictures last evening at about 7:00pm I saw a Great Egret, a very determined and hungry Osprey, a bunch of Whistlers (the pics will be here on Wed. of course) and a few Mallard Ducks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!