I spotted this Red-tailed Hawk perched in the boughs of a lovely Cypress Tree on the banks of the little Lake Mira-Mar in The Villages, FL near the Spanish Springs square. This lake is next to The Sharon auditorium as well as a recreation center and the Veteran’s Memorial park. The lake is used for model boat sailing and racing, kayaking, a limited amount of catch and bird watching, The lake attracts White Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Anhinga, ducks by the dozens, and occasionally Wood Storks, Tri-colored Herons, Great Egrets, and Snowy Egrets.
The hawk was attracted by the presence of ducklings. I think there were four little Florida Mottled Ducks, following their mother. Hawks love ducklings for dinner. I doubt this hawk got lucky as Mother Duck spotted the bird of prey and moved the babies elsewhere. I took these pictures on Sunday evening at dinner time. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Here are more photographs of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (from a week ago at Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that particular photo. Enjoy!
Adult Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
These Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were photographed early last night at almost dusk, on Lake Paradise at Swartz Park and also at Boone Park, here in The Villages, Florida.
The ducklings were all in a line behind Mom and Dad. Those babies are adorable with their dark blue-grey bills and feet. Mom and Dad have the distinctive coral orange-pink bills and feet. This family is among a small flock on the lake.
I think perhaps a resident offers duck chow but I do not know that for a fact. I believe this flock was also here last year. The “Whistlers” come and go from around The Villages, FL. These ducks love eating aquatic insects, tiny fish, aquatic vegetation, tadpoles, worms, and of course, grain. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Adult Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Juvenile and Adult Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
The Whistler Family
A family of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
This Black-bellied Whistling Duck family at Paradise Park, in The Villages, FL, is quite cute. The parents are the ones with the pink bills and pink feet. The ducklings have blue-grey bills and feet that turn pink as they mature. Such sweeties! I took the pictures at dusk this last Sunday. The ducks were quite a long way away from where I was located, so I am glad I had the zoom lens on my camera. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Florida Mottled Ducklings have been spotted here in The Villages, Florida at a small parkland pond on Morse Ave. near Live Oaks Park (on the golf cart path side). By the way, I saw an amazing number of different types of water birds such as a Great Blue Heron, a white phase Little Blue Heron, a small flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, a pair of Sandhill Cranes and a Glossy Ibis in addition to the mama Florida Mottled Duck and her youngsters at this pond!
My husband and I spent a really fabulous few moments at the pond taking pictures and then we were on our way home (did not want to disturb the birds who were feeding). I so enjoy bird watching here in my community! I took these pictures on Saturday, April 30, 2016 late in the afternoon. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Some of the other water birds I saw at the pond!
Muscovy Ducks and a Pekin Duck were all spotted at Tuscawilla Park lake in Ocala, Florida on Sept. 24, 2015. The Muscovy Ducks and Pekin Ducks are both domestic farm breeds. These ducks probably flew away from farm or ranch ponds in the area or are descendants of previous generations of ducks that did. The Muscovy is a very unusual-looking duck and it has a distinct fleshy growth on its head, called a “Wattle”. I was happy to see Muscovy ducklings at the park as well as the adults.
The white duck is the Pekin Duck. There were only a few of the Pekin Ducks at the lake, and really only just a few wading birds there during this visit. This lake is jammed-packed with water fowl and wading birds in February! It is quite the sight. I previously photographed many birds at this same lake this last Winter. Please click on the thumbnail image to see a very slightly larger version of that same photo. Enjoy!
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are among the group of Florida Mottled Ducks at a small lake near the Spanish Springs Square area of The Villages, Florida. The lake is home to a variety of waterfowl, and wading birds. There is abundant food in the water so this lake has become popular with the ducks. I often go this lake to watch all the action and photograph the birds, ducks, and geese.
Sometimes ducks will start a second family of the year in Summer. If you look carefully, you will see an adult Whistler (Pink bill and brown head) at the front of the line of Whistler ducklings. I took these pictures on August 27, 2015. These ducklings have a blue bill which later turns pink as they grow to adults. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the very slightly larger image. Enjoy!