Belted Kingfisher on the Suwanee River
Double Crested Cormorants on the Suwanee River
This lovely Florida State Park has a 72 degree F fresh water spring, is on the banks of the Suwanee River, has a wonderful campground, and walking trails with a children’s playground area. I saw many deer, nine, I think. I also saw four armadillos. There were a few wading birds, and songbirds, but there were perhaps a hundred Turkey Vultures (with a few Black Vultures in the bunch).
Almost every large tree on the Suwanee River at the mouth of the Manatee Springs stream, had many vultures perched on it! It is an amazing sight to see a seventy foot tall Cypress tree festooned with buzzards (another name for vultures).
This park is not a zoo and all the animals are wild. I was surprised to see the animals so boldly walking around were people were.
I recommend visiting Manatee Springs State Park. A lovely place with a lot to see in a small park. It is about six miles from the small town of Chiefland where there are several stores and restaurants. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Probably an Eastern Phoebe
Pied-billed Grebe on the Suwanee River
Juvenile Little Blue Heron at the Manatee Spring
This flock of Black Vultures was running towards a meal on the highway we were traveling along, when I quickly snapped the pictures. I took these pictures through the windshield of our pick-up truck as we drove past. I took these pictures on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, a few miles from my home.
The more commonly seen Turkey Vultures (red face and brown feathers), and these Black Vultures, are nature’s clean-up squad and often can be found eating dead critters that have been hit by cars on the roads. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Have a safe and happy Halloween!
These two Black Vultures were spotted in the mysterious jungle-like Dora Canal area near Lake Eustis in Lake County, Florida. The Black Vultures live in Florida and in other states along the Gulf of Mexico. These birds also are found in Mexico, around Central America and all the way down into South America.
Like the other Vultures, these are nature’s clean up squad. Even though they are buzzards, they are handsome big birds. I took these pictures during a day-long boat trip around several lakes canals and the Dead River in central Florida on April 25, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy! Wishing all Moms a happy Mother’s Day on Sunday!
Buzzards or Vultures along with Common Crows are natures “Clean-up Crew”. That is a fact of life that is occasionally played-out here in the wide-open spaces where cattle pastures meet ponds and lakes. I don’t know what the birds had found but certainly like all of us, they have to eat too. The Crows come in small groups of four or five with one or two staying up in the trees while the others eat in the grass. The Turkey Vulture showed up yesterday and just flew a circle above the cow pasture and then flew up into the clouds and away. I took the picture of the Crows on Jan. 1, 2013 from my porch and the picture of the Vulture on Jan. 6, 2013. Additionally, I took several pictures of the Crows on Jan. 16, 2013 through my living room window. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.
I was looking out over the lake yesterday late in the afternoon when I spotted a flock of Vultures soaring over the opposite shoreline of the lake. At times, weather conditions are good for the larger birds to just fly and soar around on updrafts. Of course, the other possibility is that the flock was around to do what nature intended for buzzards to do – cleanup work. It was interesting to see eight or so big-winged birds together in the sky over the lake. This is the first time I have seen Turkey vultures in this neighborhood. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
White-tailed Deer, Turkey Vultures, and Western Grebes were among the animals and birds that I was watching in the past few days here in my greater community and on the lake where I live. We have a rather large flock of Vultures that lives in the more undeveloped woodland area of our community here on the beautiful Cumberland Plateau. These big birds roost together in large pine and hemlock trees in a sparsely developed neighborhood that borders a wildlife management area. I also came upon three Deer when on a drive to that same forested area of the community. The Western Grebes are a mystery to me. I think that these water birds are out of place but I do welcome seeing them. At first, I was confused as to what kind of bird these were. I wondered if they were a Yellow Billed Loon, or some type of Cormorant. Upon reading on the Internet, I have come to believe that no, they are not Loons, and they are not Cormorants, and they are not even Clark’s Grebes. I believe them to be Western Grebes. The Western Grebe lives in areas in the Western U.S. and generally is seldom seen here in Cumberland County. I have been happy to see all of these unique animals and birds! I took all of these pictures on 12/8/10 and 12/9/10. By the way, I have been trying out a new camera. I took the pictures of the Vultures with a Panasonic Lumix FZ40 Model point and shoot digital camera with zoom. That little camera will be my “Keep it in the car” camera for times when I come across animals or memorable sights while out on drives. A side note, I am seeing several new and different waterbirds here on the lake in the last several days. I’ll be posting the pictures here soon. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Vultures are commonly known as “Buzzards”. My husband and I took a day trip yesterday to the Falls Creek Falls State Park here in Tennessee. The park is quite striking in that it has geologic features such as sandstone bluffs and dramatic tall waterfalls. It is an extremely beautiful park! At one overlook, we saw a couple of Vultures (Likely Turkey Vultures) soaring in wide sweeping circles in the air. As time went on, more and more of these huge Vultures came. I captured a few pictures of six Vultures soaring together way up in the sky. I bet they were enjoying catching updrafts and just soaring on the winds. The Vultures are often attracted to carrion or dead animals. These birds are nature’s clean-up crew. The reason these over-sized birds have no feathers on their red necks is that they eat the carrion. I took these pictures on 11/22/10 in the mid-afternoon. The backdrop for some of the pictures is a huge sandstone and limestone bluff. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Falls Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee and would highly recommend this park as a day trip or overnight visit. The park has a campground for trailers and tents and also offers cabins and an inn. By the way, the falls there are the highest waterfalls East of the Rocky Mountains. Please click on the thumbnail view to see the larger picture. Enjoy!