I spotted this lovely family of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at the Lake Okahumpka County Park in Sumter County, FL near The Villages, on Sunday, August 26, 2018. The juvenile whistlers have a bluish bill and similar colored feet and legs. As they approach adulthood, their bill, legs and feet turn bright pink. The ducklings were feeding while one of the parents stood guard against any predators.
Whistling Ducks are tipping ducks as you can see in several of the pictures. The ducks lean into the water and use their bill to scrape around the mud and water to find any tasty bits of insects, fish eggs, tadpoles, snails, frogs and smaller fish. They also will eat vegetation and seeds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Manatee Eating Romaine Lettuce
Wood Storks, a Red Wolf, a Pink Flamingo, Green Herons all were some of the wonderful Florida animals and birds seen at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park on August 15, 2018. The park is a small zoo that cares for orphaned wild animals, rehabilitated wounded wild animals or captive born wild animal species that cannot live in the wild.
There are three or four naturalist-led talks or demonstrations about the animals each day. I was fascinated to watch the Manatee Feeding talk where the naturalist told the crowd that the five Manatees at the park get fed 300 heads of Romaine Lettuce each day! The manatee shown in the picture here was fed such lettuce and I photographed that animal via an underwater viewing portal. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Southern Bald Eagle
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Wood Stork Catching a Fish in the Stream
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are found at several of the small lakes and ponds here in The Villages, FL. These are wild ducks but have become used to living around people in the parks and backyards near the lakes. The Whistlers communicate via whistling calls instead of quacking like many other ducks to. The Whistlers are probably nesting now or will be soon.
This small group was relaxing on the shoreline of Lake Paradise as seen from across the lake from Schwartz Park. I took these pictures on Monday evening at dusk. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This flock of Glossy Ibis were hanging out on the side of a freshwater marsh and golf course area here in The Villages, FL early this evening at about 5:00pm. This is the first time I have ever seen these two types of birds together. I also have never seen so many Glossy Ibis in one spot. These birds are a dark mahogany brown with blue-green accents and are oh-so-pretty! The Glossy Ibis’ feathers really shine in a metallic way when in breeding plumage (now).
The ducks are nearly the same color as the ibis. I also saw a scant few Mallards and some crows there too. A beautiful pair of Sandhill Cranes (photographs will be posted here in coming days) joined in the feeding frenzy. There must have been some really tasty stuff there – perhaps duck chow grain from a neighbor? Who can say. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of these photographs of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL, that I took yesterday. Enjoy!
These Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, or “Whistlers” were spotted here in The Villages, FL in a grassy area just coming out of a golf cart tunnel near Lake Sumter and Morse. I took the pictures at about 6:00pm last night. These are such cheery cute ducks that I always enjoy seeing them. The small flock was grazing on tasty insects as the grass had just recently been cut and it had rained a little earlier in the day. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL
I have selected favorite photographs I have taken in Florida in the last three years to share here today. I tend to love Wood Storks, all the different woodpeckers, assorted ducks, and the various herons and egret,s the best! I hope you will like seeing these old favorites!
Wood Stork in The Villages, FL
A Little Blue Heron in The Villages, FL
A Green Heron in Dunellon, FL
A Great Egret in Breeding Plumage, The Villages,
Snowy Egret, The Villages, FL
A Pileated Woodpecker, Ocala, FL