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Posts tagged ‘birding in Lake County Florida’

A Male Downy Woodpecker

This tiny bird is a male Downy Woodpecker.  It is among the smallest of the woodpeckers in the United States.  You can tell it is a male by that red spot on the crown of its head.

The Downy was pecking away at a larger branch in my Live Oak Trees when I spotted it.  It flitted around from branch to branch in search of insects.  Sometimes when the bird drills or pecks it is done to communicate, other times the drumming or pecking is to drill a hole or enlarge a hole for either a nesting place, or a storage unit.  The other reason for pecking, is to discover and dislodge insects in the bark of the tree.

I always love seeing these birds!  This is the first woodpecker here in quite a long time.  I wish the light was better when I took the pictures.  The Live Oaks in the yard are gigantic and are very shady.  I had a hard time getting a decent picture and have resorted to heavy editing to show the bird in a way you can see a bit of what the fellow looks like.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture.  Enjoy!

Little Sweeties

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

Palm Warblers, Eastern Bluebirds, and a lone Tufted Titmouse were spotted in the past week here in my neighborhood.  One of the Palm Warblers was seen below ornamental grass at  Paradise Park in The Villages, FL.  The other birds were in my own yards.  It is great to see all the newly arriving songbirds who have migrated here for the Winter!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo.  Enjoy!

Eastern Bluebird male

Eastern Bluebird male

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

Visiting Big Birds on the Lake: Sandhill Cranes

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Flocks of Sandhill Cranes, White Pelicans and Wood Storks have recently visited our little neighborhood park lake (Paradise Lake) here in The Villages, FL.  Because we have had so little rainfall, the lake has rapidly been shrinking and the fishing seems to be the big draw for the migratory wading and water birds!

It was quite funny for me yesterday to shoot a round of archery here, while a large group of White Pelicans flew right over the lake-side archery range!  A most pleasant distraction for sure.

I drive past Swartz Park on my way home from my daily archery practice so I get to notice when there are large gatherings of the wading or water birds on the lake.  I took these pictures on December 21, and Dec. 22, 2016.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!  I want to wish all a Merry Christmas!  I will continue the second part of this three part series on Monday.

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Tri-colored Herons and Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Herons and Great Blue Herons make their home on the lovely little Lake Paradise here in The Villages, FL.  This small private residential lake often hosts a few of the large wading birds.  I took these pictures mostly from Swartz Park.

The Tri-colored Herons are steel grey, cream, and have maroon highlights on the upper neck and back.  They have yellow legs and a brownish-yellow bill.  These birds eat fish, frogs, turtles, aquatic insects, aquatic snails, and occasionally ducklings.

Great Blue Herons are among the larger of the wading birds.  These birds are medium-grey, with black and white.  They often have a few back hanging feathers off of the crown of their head like a long mohawk.  They occasionally are seen in an all white color, which is quite similar to the way the Great Egret looks.  These herons eat basically the same foods as the Tri-colored Herons do.  The Great Blue Herons sleep and nest up in large trees, preferring evergreens or Cypresses.

I took these pictures during the late afternoon on a couple of days in the past week.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Northern Cardinals

 

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The Northern Cardinals are seed-eaters and also occasionally enjoy nuts, and berries or fruit.  Sunflower seeds are considered prime treats for Northern Cardinals.  They also like suet a little bit – especially the suet with apples or other fruits embedded within the cake.  These beautiful songbirds often will come to bird feeders.  They seem to also hunt on lawns quite often.  These birds especially enjoy perching in lower branches or in large shrubbery.

The hen is a rusty brown in color while the male is bright red.  The juvenile male looks quite similar to the female adult.   The cardinals often will be seen in small flock family groups where there will be two males and two or three hens.  Occasionally the extra males will just be eager suitors.

I took the pictures of the Cardinals on Thursday morning, October 6, 2016.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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Egyptian Geese

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Egyptian Geese have made their home on Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL.  This lake is private as is the park, and is for the enjoyment of the residents of The Villages.  There are about six of these medium-sized geese here.  The geese come and go between several small nearby ponds and lakes.

These Egyptian Geese originated in North Africa and were brought to Florida a number of years ago by someone to be golf course pond pets or farm pets.  They are escapees.   In any event, I doubt that there are many of the Egyptian Geese here in Florida.  The geese hang out with the numerous Canada Geese and also occasionally with the White Ibis.  They are grass eaters just like the Canada Geese.  I took these pictures during the Summer here and have included a picture of part of beautiful Paradise Park.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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We still have power as of 9:30am so I am posting this.  We have a bit of wind and a lot of rain.  The storm itself will be in the Daytona area in another hour or so, and that is when it will be the closest to us here.  I will let you all know what happens.  So far, so good.  The track of the storm is farther East off shore which is helpful to us (the coast will still be highly affected).

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Almost Wordless Wed. – The Whistlers

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Here are more photographs of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (from a week ago at Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL).  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that particular photo.  Enjoy!

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