Wood Storks occasionally visit The Villages, FL but usually we see maybe six or seven in one spot. This morning I saw sixty Wood Storks, many of them juveniles, at the El Santiago Golf Course pond on the El Camino Avenue end near the multi-modal path.
I think that due to the recent tropical storm to the NW of us on the coast, this flock has migrated. We are fortunate to have seen the whole group together. By the way, the juveniles have the fuzzy head and nearly ivory-white bills. Wood storks begin to have a large ivory-white bony plate on their head (no feathers or fuzz) and have a darker bill as they age.
I also saw an adult Wood Stork trying to eat a very large catfish that it caught in its huge bill. The effort did briefly attract the attention of a Great Blue Heron, but the heron got the message that it would not be able to steal the fish away! The flock was at the pond in four separate groupings so I tried to represent some of each group with these pictures. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each photo. Enjoy!
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Tri-Colored Heron
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Wood Storks, Anhingas, and a Tri-Color Heron were spotted this past week at the Freedom Pointe Lake in The Villages, FL. This little lake borders a golf course, an assisted living complex, and a boulevard with golf cart multi-modal pathway. It is often busy with wading birds during the Fall through Spring months. I enjoy visiting this area as it is easy to see the birds from the path or the parking area. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Snowy Egret, Cormorant, Great Egret
Great Blue Heron
I snapped these pictures on Sunday at Freedom Pointe Lake in The Villages, Florida of a small flock of Wood Storks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Little Blue Herons
These birds were spotted here in Central Florida in the last several months at various spots. I love to see larger birds flying! Very beautiful. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Lesser Scaup Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks; Blue-winged Teal Ducks; Hooded Merganser Ducks; Lesser Scaup Ducks; Mallard Ducks, and Northern Shoveler Ducks are all seen at various times each year here in The Villages, Florida! I also have frequently seen our native Florida Mottled Ducks and Muscovy Ducks.
On vary rare occasions, other kinds of ducks such as Gadwalls; Red-heads; Wood Ducks, and my favorite, the little Bufflehead Ducks, can sometimes show up, too. I just love all of them! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that particular photo. Enjoy!
Drake Mallard Duck
Northern Shoveler Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Duck and Ducklings
Drake Hooded Merganser Duck
Blue-winged Teal Ducks
Hen Hooded Merganser Duck
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron on its nest
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the particular photo. Enjoy!
This pair of Southern Bald Eagles has nested and raised two families this year alone. The pair have their nest on an electric tower in the center of the lovely Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course here in The Villages, Florida. This area is accessible via golf cart on the multi-modal path.
It appears the couple is repairing or remodeling their nest. Perhaps they are trying to ready their nest for a new clutch of eggs? Who knows? This nest is close to several ponds and open fields so food is plentiful. There also are larger trees and electric towers for the high perches eagles seem to prefer. A good habitat for raising eaglets! By the way, I took these pictures at about 6:00pm on Friday evening, May 3, 2019. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Herons are now beginning to raise young and are molting (losing breeding feathers) so they are mostly on their nests unless hunting for a meal. They wade in shallow water in the early morning and late afternoon to catch fish, frogs, ducklings, shoreline snakes, lizards, and nearly anything else they can catch to eat.
We have a year-around population of Great Blue Herons here in The Villages, Florida. These birds nest in colonies way up in sturdy Oaks and Pines near ponds or lakes. Many are now proud parents and will be raising chicks for several more weeks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
This Snowy Egret was spotted on the shoreline of the Freedom Pointe Lake here in The Villages, Florida, while I was riding down the multi-modal path in the golf cart. This lake often has egrets, herons, ibis or ducks on the shore in this particular area. This bird was actively hunting for its meal of fish or frogs. The egret walks along in the shallows looking for its prey. These are very good hunters! Beautiful, too. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!