This inquisitive Eastern Blue Jay was spying on the goings-on in the parking lot next to Lake Miramar in The Villages, Florida, yesterday late in the afternoon. Blue Jays are pretty intelligent birds and I think are often interested in what is happening around them.
I also think that the medium-sized songbird was investigating the fact that the White Ibis crowd and Seagulls in the park, were being hand fed by well-meaning (still should not be happening) tourist children. Maybe the Blue Jay had even been in on the goodies. Who knows? After a few moments, the jay flew off to other adventures elsewhere. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Sandhill Cranes are here in my area for the Winter months. Some are even year-round residents. The big grey, white, beige, and red birds are most often spotted near grassy areas where there also is a pond, lake, or river nearby. They eat grass, grains, and occasionally snails, small fish, tadpoles and other small aquatic prey. Mostly, they are vegetarians. While observing the cranes, I also spotted a feisty Eastern Blue Jay, a pretty Palm Warbler and a female Northern Cardinal.
In The Villages, in Sumter County, FL, the Sandhill Cranes sometimes are seen around golf courses where they are admired and are not terribly inconvenient for the golfers (unlike the ‘gators). I took these pictures on December 30, 2015 at a spot fairly close to the Live Oaks Park near Sumter Square and Lake Sumter. I think someone had put bird seed down (not me). The big birds enjoyed an easy meal! I also saw the pair at a small pond near that same area. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A Wood Stork; American White Ibises; Pekin Ducks; Florida Mottled Ducks, an Eastern Blue Jay (what? He is not a water bird!); Egyptian Geese, and a Tri-color Heron were all spotted on Monday night at twilight at a small lake behind the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center parking lot (Spanish Springs Square area), The Villages, Lake County, Florida.
Yes, one of the cute white Pekin Ducks does appear to have some sort of small cyst or tumor on its head. The ducks, geese, and Ibises all are quite adept at begging for tourist treats along the parking lot. Unfortunately, the Wood Storks are picking up on the begging routine (in their own quiet way). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
American White Ibises, Wood Stork
American White Ibis
Eastern Blue Jay
Pekin Ducks, Hybrid Florida Mottled Ducks (AKA The beggars!)
Male Northern Cardinal
A male Northern Cardinal, a young Eastern Blue Jay and a Northern Mockingbird all were spotted in my front yard yesterday afternoon. It was blazing hot and some of the birds are likely now starting to molt. At least that is the way they look to me.
Molting is when the birds change feathers from breeding to non-breeding colors. It is nature’s way of taking care of older feathers, which drop out and are replaced by fresh young ones. The birds do not feel very well during this time. It is especially hard now because of our hot rainy weather.
That Blue Jay is likely just a recently-fledged juvenile and is probably not in molt. The poor bird was really hot! I took these photographs on August 9, 2015 at about 4:30 PM Eastern Time. The temperature was about 91 degrees F. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Male Northern Cardinal
Older Juvenile Eastern Blue Jay
This Eastern Blue Jay was just chilling out, totally relaxed on a hot muggy Florida afternoon. The beautiful blue, black and white bird was perched in an Oak branch fairly near my neighbor’s bird feeder. Smart bird. This bird just was perched there in the cool shade, not moving much at all. There has been a number of Eastern Blue Jays around the neighborhood in recent days.
There is an abundance of food now so the birds are quite happy. Eastern Blue Jays are enjoying the small Acorns of the Live Oaks here. I took these pictures on Sept. 18, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Blue Jays, Carolina Wrens, Egrets and Ibises were all spotted here in my development in the last several days. I was taking pictures around my yard a couple of days ago and spotted a pair of Carolina Wrens and two Eastern Blue Jays. The Blue Jays were noisy sassy and flighty. It was hard to take their picture because they kept darting into the shaded leafy areas of the Oaks.
Traveling a bit farther in my housing development, I watched Great Egrets, and adult and juvenile White Ibises at two different rainfall retention ponds here yesterday afternoon. These ponds are drying up and only the largest water retention pond here, which is near the fitness center, has much water in it now. That particular pond gets sprinkler irrigation run-off from surrounding lawn areas so it stays wet longer. I took these pictures on July 28, 2014, and again on July 29, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Eastern Blue Jays and Tufted Titmice have been here in the neighborhood for the past week. These are likely migrant visitor birds here for the Winter from up North. The Eastern Blue Jays are loud, brash beautiful White and Turquoise Blue-colored birds with black accents. They are flashy and are bold birds.
The Tufted Titmice are charming little grey birds with their cute top knot. Both birds are excellent at getting insects for their dinner. They also will eat fruit, and nuts and seeds. The Titmice are here in a flock of about fifteen birds. I am not sure that there are as many Blue Jays around. I have only seen a pair of the Jays. I took the pictures here in my yard on Oct. 1, 2013. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!