Double Crested Cormorants are frequently here on our ponds and lakes in the winter months here in The Villages, Florida. These birds enjoy the warm weather quite a lot and around ponds, lakes, rivers, and both fresh and salt water marsh-lands. Some of these cormorants are natives here but many are migrants from places north of us. I also have spotted Double-Crested Cormorants at marina docks on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico at Cedar Key here in Florida.
These water birds dive for fish, frogs, baby alligators, tender soft-shelled turtles and larger aquatic insects and aquatic mollusks. At times, Double-crested Cormorants are mixed in near the White Pelicans here. The Double-Crested Cormorants are similar in looks to the slightly smaller Anhinga birds. The Anhingas have a straight bill while there is a downward hook to the tip of the bill on the Double-Crested Cormorants. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Diving for a bit of food
Hooded Merganser ducks
Hooded Mergansers, and Double-crested Cormorants were spotted at the pond in the Silverlake Community Center’s small park area here in The Villages, FL this past week. I also spotted a small flock of Lesser Scaup ducks at the nearby Lake Paradise right at Paradise Park in The Villages.
I just am wowed by the huge variety of water birds we have here in The Villages during the winter months! This bunch of scaups have become used to people and behave like typical park ducks begging for, and receiving hand-outs (please do not feed bread to ducks as it is not the healthiest for them). Someone was flinging bread cubes to the seagulls and the ducks rushed over to get in on that action.
Most wild ducks are very wary of people so this behavior of coming near the shore when people are around is unusual in migratory birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Drake (male) Lesser Scaup
A pair of Lesser Scaup ducks
Please click on each thumbnail picture of the Double-crested Cormorants (and a pair of Hooded Mergansers in the background) to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Sandhill Cranes at a pond on Morse near Live Oak Park
Egrets, Herons, Wood Storks, Sandhill Cranes, Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorants, Seagulls, and Common Coots were all spotted here on Freedom Pointe Lake and Lake Sumter in The Villages, FL this last weekend. What a bunch of wonderful birds to observe!
This area has a lot of ponds, small lakes and medium lakes plus marsh lands so there is a great many spots to observe the wildlife. We get a lot of different species of birds here in the Winter months. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version. Enjoy!
Cormorants, Egrets and Seagulls at Freedom Pointe Lake
Wood Storks and Anhingas
Great Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe Lake
A Raft of Common Coots on Lake Sumter
A Common Coot on Lake Sumter
A Double-Crested Cormorant on Freedom Pointe Lake
A Double-crested Cormorant
White Ibis, Mallard Duck, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, a Double Crested Cormorant, A Snowy Egret, Sandhill Cranes, and a Little Blue Heron were all photographed while in flight. All were moving from place to place here in Central Florida in The Villages and in the Ocala area. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A Hen Mallard Duck
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
A Snowy Egret
A Little Blue Heron
Here are some shots of the Double Crested Cormorants. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Double Crested Cormorants are local resident birds but there also are quite a few flocks of migrating birds here in this area during the Winter months.
Double Crested Cormorants are meat-eating birds. They dive and catch fish, frogs, turtles and baby alligators. They often are spotted with flocks of White Pelicans or among Great and Snowy Egrets. They spread their wings to dry them after coming out of the water.
These birds closely resemble the Anhinga but they are larger bodied and have a broader bill that has a slight downward hook on the end. I took these pictures last week here in The Villages at a pond in the Polo Ridge neighborhood and also at the small lakes at Freedom Pointe. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!