A pair of Sandhill Cranes and a Little Blue Heron were seen at two ponds here in The Villages, Florida last week. I saw the cranes on the shore of the small pond near Live Oaks Park on Morse Blvd. near CR 466, and the Little Blue Heron was at Freedom Pointe Lakes (The larger lake). By the way, it has been very windy on several days here so a bit of blown-in trash is evident in the pictures. Most of our shorelines are very clean here and this is a rare occurrence.
Both of these are wading birds that eat fish, frogs, aquatic snails, larger aquatic insects, small shoreline snakes, baby waterfowl, and baby Alligators. The cranes also will eat grains and seeds. I love seeing these beautiful big birds here! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Little Blue Heron
Sandhill Cranes are often spotted here in The Villages, Fl along golf courses, and grassy areas near water. I spotted a pair this afternoon along the edge of the Arnold Palmer golf course on CR 466 and another pair on Morse Blvd. at the East side of the road on the parkway abutting the Schwartz Preserve.
These wading birds primarily eat grasses, seeds, and aquatic vegetation but occasionally also dine on insects, snails, and worms. I most often see the cranes in twos but sometimes will spot a family group with colts and less often a large gathered flock. I believe these to be Florida Sandhill Cranes. I was thrilled to spot the cranes this afternoon! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
I spotted this pair of Sandhill Cranes standing next to the golf cart path on Sumter County Road 466 on the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course in The Villages, FL on Sunday night at about 5:30pm.
It is not too unusual to see Sandhill Cranes on the courses here in The Villages. They love browsing for grass, seeds, and insects. Of course the tender grass is easy on their feet and most of the courses have a pond for them to drink from. I think the Sandhill Cranes pictured are Florida natives. We have several breeding pairs in the area. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A small flock of Sandhill Cranes visited the shrinking Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL last evening at twilight. This lake’s water level is continuing to drop as our local drought goes on. I took most of the pictures from the wooden deck at Swartz Park at a pretty far distance.
The Sandhill Cranes are loving the exposed tender aquatic plants and grasses now above water. They also occasionally dine on land insects, mice, small lizards, aquatic insects, frogs, worms, crawdads (crayfish) and tadpoles. Mostly the cranes prefer grains and grasses. I often have spotted Sandhill Cranes in ranch pastures and even on the golf courses here in The Villages.
I enjoyed seeing about twelve Sandhill Cranes along with a Trip-colored Heron, a Great Blue Heron, a Snowy Egret, several shorebirds, and about a hundred black-bellied Whistlers plus assorted Mallards and Canada Geese last night on the lake. Lots to see. I will share more photo’s of the birds here in coming posts. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!