I spotted this Red-tailed Hawk perched in the boughs of a lovely Cypress Tree on the banks of the little Lake Mira-Mar in The Villages, FL near the Spanish Springs square. This lake is next to The Sharon auditorium as well as a recreation center and the Veteran’s Memorial park. The lake is used for model boat sailing and racing, kayaking, a limited amount of catch and bird watching, The lake attracts White Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Anhinga, ducks by the dozens, and occasionally Wood Storks, Tri-colored Herons, Great Egrets, and Snowy Egrets.
The hawk was attracted by the presence of ducklings. I think there were four little Florida Mottled Ducks, following their mother. Hawks love ducklings for dinner. I doubt this hawk got lucky as Mother Duck spotted the bird of prey and moved the babies elsewhere. I took these pictures on Sunday evening at dinner time. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Sholom Park in Ocala is such a very beautiful place! It is very serene. That is the purpose of this gorgeous park which is designed for strolling and reflection. It is not a sports or picnic type of place. It is open to the public and is mainly used by the folks from the adjacent On Top of The World development along with those from the Del Webb development. It is open during the day and is free of charge.
While my hubby and I were at the park on Monday, I spotted a male Northern Cardinal bird and a Red-shouldered Hawk. No sign of any owls or Great Blue Herons at all. No sign of the former Great Blue Heron rookery. I think over the past couple of years, stormy weather has taken its toll on the great trees where these wading birds and owls had previously nested. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the image. Enjoy!
I am dedicating this blog post in memory of my late friend Donna who passed away on Easter in California. She will greatly be missed.
These two Southern Bald Eagles were spotted way up on the top of a high tension electric tower on Enrique Drive across from the El Santiago golf course pond in The Villages, Florida yesterday afternoon.
Southern Bald Eagles are slightly more slender and a tiny bit shorter than other Bald Eagles here in The United States. Like the other Bald Eagles, these birds of prey love eating fish, coots, other types of small waterfowl and rodents such as mice, young rabbits and squirrels.
Bald Eagles often build two nests up on the towers or in the tops of Cypress Trees, Pines, or Oaks. They use one nest to rear their chicks and have another as an emergency back-up in case of disaster. I did not see a nest associated with this pair but I would not be surprised if they are in the process of building their nest soon. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
This Osprey was perched up in a tall Pine Tree on the far shoreline of the little Lake Paradise, across from Paradise Park in The Villages, FL. I took the picture early Friday evening at about 5:30pm. The Osprey was finishing its meal of a fish and after a few minutes, the majestic bird of prey flew off to other adventures!
Osprey, or Sea Eagles, and Sea Hawks as they are sometimes known, are keen hunters of fish, frogs, and the occasional small bird, baby alligator, duckling, gosling, or snake. The Osprey live near bodies of water such as the oceans, lakes or rivers. They prefer fish over most of the other foods I have mentioned. They fish by snatching their prey with their sharp thick talon claws and then they fly up to a tree or tall post and eat. These birds are found all over the United States. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Yesterday afternoon my husband and I visited the Weichens nature preserve here in The Villages, FL. We saw several really wonderful birds. No squirrels this time as it was hot and very windy out. One has to take their time at this preserve. Because the rules say that visitors need to stay on the sidewalk and boardwalk, the viewing space through the lawn area is pretty distant as far as birds go. The Sherman’s Fox Squirrels usually hang out on the ground near the sidewalk so that is a plus.
Take your time if visiting. Being patient is helpful in that birds often appear out of nowhere and only stay a brief moment or two in one spot. By the way, thanks to a knowledgeable reader, I have identified the hawk I saw yesterday as a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Beautiful bird! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Male Common Moorhen
Family of Common Moorhens
Osprey in Flight
Little Blue Heron
Common Moorhen Chick
This Southern Bald Eagle was spotted perching on the top of a high tension electric line tower at the Santiago Golf Course, and Recreation Center in The Villages, Florida. This tower over-looks the large golf course pond which also attracts a lot of wild birds and ducks. So in addition to fish, there seems to be plenty to eat for this eagle.
I think this eagle frequents the tower as I saw the same bird in the same place two evenings in a row. I photographed the bird at about 7:00pm on May 18-19, 2016. By the way, I have heavily cropped the photographs so you can more easily see the bird. I so enjoy seeing the amazing amount of wildlife here in The Villages! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
An Osprey or Sea Hawk/Sea Eagle, was spotted perched on the top of a street light pole near Lake Sumter in The Villages, Florida (near Live Oak Park on Morse Avenue). I saw the big bird of prey a few weeks ago. It was just hanging out resting and after about five minutes, it flew off.
Interestingly, after the Osprey was gone, a Common Crow flew up and took its place. Popular spot! I have also spotted Osprey several times near the nearby area close to the bridges and Sunset Point. Osprey are spectacular fishers and interesting to watch. I was glad to have seen this one. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!