Great Egrets are the larger of the egrets which are commonly seen here in Florida. The Snowy Egrets are medium-sized and have yellow feet. Egrets are easily seen here in Florida around marshes, rivers, ponds and lakes. Another kind of egrets, the Cattle Egrets are the type seen in pastures near horses, cattle, sheep and goats and those have a color of rust on their neck during the breeding season.
I spotted these Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets at local lakes in the last few weeks. They fish by wading in the shallows and try to stab prey such as small fish, tadpoles, frogs, small turtles, and crayfish. They also will eat snails, worms, larger insects, waterfowl eggs, and occasionally lizards, and mice.
I additionally took a couple of rather blurry shots of a wading bird roosting area last night at about 7:00PM. There were literally hundreds of various egrets as well as ibis, herons and Anhingas all in a bunch of low trees in a nature preserve area (with Alligators in the marshy water below the trees). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Mixed Wading Birds Roosting
Wading Birds Roosting
Great Egret (8/6/15)
This Sandhill Crane is the same juvenile I have photographed for just over the last three months now (I think it was March 16, 2015 when I first posted a picture of the chick with parents). I spotted this crane at the same horse ranch pond in Northeastern Marion County where I often have photographed water birds. I did not see the parents this time. I wonder if the parents are on a nearby pasture or if they have left the juvenile for an extended time.
I do not know if the juvenile, which appears mostly fully grown at around fifteen weeks of age, can fly yet. Sandhill Cranes are excellent at flying. I believe the family was of the native Florida group of Sandhill Cranes. I am not sure how much longer I will be seeing this wonderful crane here. The crane likely will eventually seek a mate and possibly move on. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
The flock of White Pelicans (and most of the other large birds) at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL, has thinned out considerably. There were only about fifteen of the big white and black birds there on March 20, 2015. I believe this is due to there being a lot less fish, turtles, frogs and other aquatic prey in the ponds. There have been many competing birds there this season.
The Pelicans are really awesome birds! They watch for the Common Cormorants and follow the cormorants hunting and try to steal the fish away from the snake-necked competitor. Here are some photographs of the flock. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
I was out at almost sunset on Monday, August 18, 2013, taking pictures of Red-headed Woodpeckers, when I spotted a Great Horned Owl. The large owl was perched on a stout branch of a pine tree, and was fairly far from where I was. I took several photographs and then, as I wanted to walk toward the bird to change my perspective so the light would be better, the bird spotted my husband and I and off it flew in a hurry! These pictures are really bad because the setting sun was behind the owl. This caused the bird to be seen in silhouette.
I really worked on the pictures using my photo-editing software. All I could really do was get the bird a bit more visible to the viewer. So, in the spirit of a “Weird Wednesday” of bad pictures, here are the photographs of this majestic Great Horned Owl. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. I hope to one day get some better pictures of this handsome bird. Enjoy!
The American Coots are here in this area in a big way. The numbers of Coots has increased steadily. I took these pictures at two different local lakes on Nov. 23, 2012. At one lake, I saw a small group of maybe fifty Coots. At the other lake which is fairly close to my current home here at the little farm, there are probably five hundred Coots! The flocks that are newer to the area still tend to huddle together in a large raft formation. Coots do this for security against predators. The weather here in Cumberland County, TN, has recently been very cool and getting colder by the day. The Coots are Winter visitors here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A migratory flock of American Coots has arrived in my area. The coots come back every year in late Fall to spend the Winter in this area. Coots are duck-like water birds that are really members of the Rail family of birds. They have a duck-like body, webbed feet with individual toes and claws, and a chicken-like beak. They are a dark charcoal grey with a white beak.
Coots are primarily plant eating birds, with aquatic plants being the favorite foods. These Coots are going to attract Bald Eagles as well as various large hawks. which are fond of eating the Coots. I think that there are about two hundred Coots in this flock. I took these pictures on Nov. 14, 2012, at a private lake located a few miles from my home here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
I took these pictures of Common Crows in my yard on Nov. 6, 2012. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger image. Enjoy!
The Canada Geese were up here in the yards yesterday (Aug. 9, 2012). The Canada Geese just seemed to be everywhere. They were under the bird feeder just at the front porch, they were in the back yard up against the house, they were in the back pasture and in the side pasture, and of course, in the pond. I counted thirty-nine geese here at the same time!
The geese usually stay in the cow pasture across the pond, but they must have wanted to explore the greenery over here today. They even called some of their friends to join the party! The geese love eating fresh tender grass. There is new grass around because we have been having a lot of rain in recent days. The land is greening up! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
There is a small flock of Mourning Doves that lives in the trees and shrubbery here at the little farm. Usually they walk around the grass or the gravel driveway looking around for seeds and nuts and fruits to eat. We do keep a rather wild area of native plants and weeds so that many birds can nest and obtain wild food. That area also provides cover for shy birds and small animals. The Doves make a nice soft cooing sound and are pleasant to have around here. The interesting thing is the noise that their feathers make when they take off in flight. It is a swooshing sound.
The doves like to perch on the electric lines and also on bare limbs of the trees. Of course, these doves do know about the bird feeder here. The thing is that they can’t seem to use the feeder due to their larger size. Sometimes, I’ll see a dove on the porch rail looking downward at the feeder. They do camp out underneath the feeder at times, hoping for a bit of grain to fall their way. Once in awhile, the medium-sized birds also perch on the car for a moment! I took these pictures in my yard several days ago. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!