This Little Blue Heron was spotted here in The Villages, Florida at the Santiago golf course pond on Enrique Drive on Saturday evening at about 5:00pm. I was driving around that area trying to look for the Bald Eagles I sometimes spot there, and came upon the heron while it was fishing for its dinner.
This large pond is right up against the street so when the big wading birds or the ducks are present, it is easy to see them. This golf course is closed and under maintenance now so the birds are more at ease being there. The Santiago golf course pond is in a residential area and at the recreation center with parking there for cars and carts.
The Little Blue Herons are around the community but not at every lake or pond. I would say, I see a Little Blue Heron about every few weeks. The White Ibis or Great Blue Herons are much more commonly seen here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Little Blue Heron at Ochlockonee River State Park, Florida
I spotted these Little Blue Herons at the little lake behind Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL at a vernal pool in the campground at the Ochlockonee River State Park near St. Mark’s National Wildlife Sanctuary in North-Central Florida, and also at both Schwartz and Boone Parks in The Villages at Lake Paradise (which is now refilling with water). I saw these beautiful big wading birds within the last month (Schwartz and Boone herons possibly with Snowy Egrets or juvenile herons, on Wednesday).
The Little Blue Herons start as white juveniles and as they age, they turn a beautiful purple blue with olive-green legs and feet. They are much more of a blue hue than the similar-looking Reddish Egret.
The Little Blue Herons eat frogs, fish, crawfish, small turtles, baby alligators, ducklings, and occasionally aquatic snails, worms, and larger aquatic insects. They generally spear their prey with their sharp long bill and then gulp the food down. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Little Blue Heron at Boone Park in The Villages, FL
Little Blue Heron at Schwartz Park in The Villages, FL
Little Blue Heron at Ochlockonee River State Park in Florida
Snowy Egret with Little Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL
Little Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL
This group of Sandhill Cranes was spotted a few weeks ago, on the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course in The Villages, FL. All in all, I spotted eleven Sandhill Cranes that day in four different places. Most of these eleven cranes were browsing for food in the grassy areas on the apron of a golf course near a paved golf cart (multi-modal) path. The smaller of the cranes by the way, is a juvenile, called a “Colt”.
Sandhill Cranes mostly eat larger insects, snails, worms, grains and seeds, small frogs, small fish and they will also nibble on grasses and certain plants.
We seem to have a stable group of native Sandhill Cranes here in The Villages area. I really enjoy seeing these large rather majestic birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
I spotted this very placid old Wood Stork standing in the parking lot at the side of Lake Miramar in The Villages, Fl on June 14, 2017.
This beautiful big wading bird is old as evidenced by the very dark horny bill and darker leathery skin on its face and neck.
I have read where some Wood Storks will fly upwards of fifty miles from their nest to obtain food. I doubt this one flew that far, but it is interesting to hear of that fact.
This Wood Stork may have been in the parking lot expecting to be treated to bread or crackers or corn as some folks still feed the ibis crowd and the ducks. I have also previously seen Wood Storks eating human-given food in this place. The bird was evidently attracted by golf carts and cars in the vicinity. I strongly do not recommend feeding exotic birds (It is against the law in many places including Florida). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Over the last couple of weeks, I have spotted Snowy Egrets at several lakes here in The Villages, Fl. The Snowy Egret is one of the smaller of the egrets, and it is the one that has yellow feet. Snowy Egrets are white in color. In breeding season this egret has spectacular long, very lush plumage in its feathers. By the way, I am beginning to see a few of the Cattle Egrets here now. The Cattle Egrets are just a wee bit larger than the Snowy Egrets. By the way, we have had a lot of rain here in my local area and our lakes are refilling (Hooray!).
These wading birds eat a variety of fish, crawfish, frogs, tender smaller turtles and larger aquatic insects, as well as near shoreline mice, lizards and smaller ducklings. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
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.
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!