Blue-winged Teal Ducks
(The drake has the half moon white marking on his cheeks)
Blue-winged Teal Ducks, Great Blue Herons, Coots, Snowy Egrets, and a Limpkin were all spotted at the North Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive on the shore of Lake Apopka in Apopka, Florida on March 3, 2019.
This wildlife drive is along levees and a one-way dirt road past the fresh water marshes, lake shore, and canals of the former farm land along the huge lake. The drive is open Fridays through Sundays and is free of charge. This whole area is chock-full of wildlife with wading birds and alligators being the starring attractions! I highly recommend visiting this area if in Central Florida (about 30 miles from Orlando). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A flock of Common Coots
Great Blue Heron
Common Moorhens and Common Coots are both members of the Rail family of birds. Both of these duck-like birds were spotted a few days ago happily paddling around the marshy shallows of a medium-sized lake in a new nature preserve, the Sharon Rose Weichens Preserve, which has opened at The Villages, Florida. This preserve is also where I photographed the Sherman Fox Squirrels.
The Moorhens and Coots mostly eat vegetation but also will eat insects, worms, and snails. They really are quite good at flying as well as walking on land (but generally only walk near the shore). These birds are often preyed-upon by eagles and hawks. Both genders of Common Coots look-alike, but the hen Common Moorhen is brown rather than the black of the drake Common Moorhen. I am always happy to see the coots and moorhens! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture.