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Posts tagged ‘birding’

Wordless Waterfowl Wednesday: Canada Geese

These Canada Geese and goslings were photographed this past weekend at Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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Wading Bird Wednesday: A Wood Stork on a Rainy Evening

I just took this photo of the Wood Stork about a half-hour ago at dusk on a very wet evening.  We have had a lot of rain and the lake is full.  The lake is being lowered to accommodate the extra rain we have been having.   I took the pictures at Lake Paradise in The Villages.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Great Blue Herons in The Villages, FL

Great Blue Herons are commonly spotted on most lakes here in The Villages, FL.  Along with the Great Egrets and the White Ibis, the Great Blue Herons are fairly easy to spot on the shore.  I took these pictures recently of the Great Blue Herons at Paradise Park Lake and at the Freedom Pointe Lake.

These wading birds are still in the remnants of their breeding plumage but are nesting now and will soon molt or lose their breeding feathers.  The Great Blue Herons eat fish, frogs, crawfish, small alligators, small turtles, waterfowl eggs and babies, and occasionally small snakes and lizards on the immediate shore area.  The Great Blue Herons live mostly around fresh or brackish water ponds, lakes, rivers and marshes/swamps.  These herons nest in tall sturdy trees in large stick nests.  Sometimes, they will just rest on docks, piers, empty small boats, and yes, gazebo structures!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Whistlers on Wednesday: Paradise Lake

I spotted this cute pair of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Schwartz Park on Lake Paradise in The Villages, Fl last evening at about 6:00pm.  I spotted the two ducks waddling down the slope of a lake-front back yard to the lake to sip some water and then slowly waddle back up that same yard to the shrubbery.  I am thinking the pair are nesting in the bushes.  I always enjoy seeing these cute brown and pink ducks!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Florida Sandhill Cranes

 

Florida Sandhill Cranes are native here in Florida and are here all year around in addition to our migratory Sandhill Cranes which are only here in the Winter and early Spring.  We often see Sandhill Cranes at several spots in The Villages, FL.

Sandhill Cranes enjoy strolling around our golf courses as they love being around the golf ponds and nibbling on the tender green grasses.  Many are no longer really wary of golfers and golf carts.  They seem somewhat nonchalant about people playing through.  I was pretty surprised to see three cranes stroll past a pair of golfers and around two parked golf carts just as calmly as if those people and carts were not there at all.

The cranes of course, also love our preserves marshes and swamps!  I have seen Sandhill Cranes in the yards of homes, in landscaped medians on roads and also in parks.  They just adjust to the area they want to feed and rest in.  I think these birds nest in marsh areas and preserves near ponds or lakes.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.

Mixed Waterfowl

 

Hooded Merganser ducks

Hooded Mergansers, and Double-crested Cormorants were spotted at the pond in the Silverlake Community Center’s small park area here in The Villages, FL this past week.  I also spotted a small flock of Lesser Scaup ducks at the nearby Lake Paradise right at Paradise Park in The Villages.

I just am wowed by the huge variety of water birds we have here in The Villages during the winter months!  This bunch of scaups have become used to people and behave like typical park ducks begging for, and receiving hand-outs (please do not feed bread to ducks as it is not the healthiest for them).  Someone was flinging bread cubes to the seagulls and the ducks rushed over to get in on that action.

Most wild ducks are very wary of people so this behavior of coming near the shore when people are around is unusual in migratory birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Drake (male) Lesser Scaup

Double-crested Cormorant

A pair of Lesser Scaup ducks

Great Blue Herons

These Great Blue Herons recently were spotted fishing at two lakes here in The Villages, FL.  The big herons are tremendous at wading in shallow water to spear fish or frogs with their long sharp bills.  They sometimes also dine on mice if the mouse is close to the shore, and same for small snakes and lizards.

The Great Blue Herons fly to the pond, lake, river or marsh, from their rookery in the tops of larger sturdy trees.  After fishing, herons will step out of the water, make a short flight up the shoreline, land, and spread their wings in the Sunshine to dry themselves (if necessary) before returning to the hunt or to the roost.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture.  Enjoy!

 

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