Great Egrets are here on our lakes all year around. I enjoy them very much. The Great Egrets are the taller of the egrets here. We basically have Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets and the Great Egrets. On rare occasions, we will spot a Reddish Egret but they are quite unusual here.
The Great Egrets wade in shallow water and hunt for fish, turtles, frogs, tadpoles, larger insects, small shore-side snakes and mice. They spear their prey with their strong pointed bill. The Great Egret is white with a yellow bill and black legs and feet. They have yellow eyes. They are exquisite when in their billowy breeding plumage! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Juvenile White Ibis
White Ibises and Great Egrets are among the many varieties of birds frequenting our shrinking small lakes here in The Villages, FL these days. The Great Egrets are sporting their magnificent breeding plumage now. Quite the beautiful sight! There are several juvenile White Ibises around, too. The youngsters have the brown color mixed in with the white. In a few months, they will turn white.
I took these pictures on Dec. 20, 2016 at Paradise Lake. We are in a drought and the little lake is rapidly drying up. The Boone Park area of the lake is mostly mud flats and Swartz Park is nearly so. The main part of the lake still has a lot of water so all is not dire. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version the picture. Enjoy. Wishing everyone a very happy New Year in 2017!
Adult White Ibis
Great Egret with empty Apple Snail shells on mud flat lake bottom
Great Egret at right, Snowy Egret at left
Great Egrets are among the larger of the wading birds, while the Snowy Egret is a much smaller wading bird at about half the size of the Great Egret. The Great Egret has a bright yellow bill and black legs while the Snowy Egret has bright yellow feet, greenish-black coloring in the legs and a black bill. Both of these egrets are wading birds that eat fish, frogs, small tender turtles, aquatic snails and large aquatic insects and worms. The Great Egret also will eat shore-side mice, lizards, small snakes and larger insects.
Both of these birds are very beautiful big white birds! The Snowy Egret has stunningly beautiful plumage in breeding season, and is a real treat to see then. I took the picture in The Villages, FL on a local lake a few weeks ago. You really can see the difference in the size of both birds! Here in The Villages, in central Florida, we often have Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and the flocking Cattle Egrets. Only on occasion does one see the much rarer Reddish Egret (which closely resembles a lighter Little Blue Heron). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Great Egrets, Snowy Egret, Wood Storks
A Great Egret with White Ibises and Mallard Duck
These Great Egrets were spotted on the shore of Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL on October 11, 2016 late in the afternoon. The big birds were wading in the shallow water and walking on the grassy shoreline, hunting for a quick supper. Great Egrets are sometimes even seen walking among the landscaping shrubbery at parking lots in our area of Florida. Our area of Florida has many small lakes, ponds, and swampy marshes which are home to various wading birds such as egrets and herons. The Great Egrets are both resident and migratory in this area.
Great Egrets are tall white birds that have black legs and feet, and a sharp long yellow bill. Great Egrets eat fish, frogs, turtles, aquatic snails, aquatic insects, lizards, small snakes, large land insects, and occasionally mice.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Great Egret with Mallard Duck Hybrid
Great Egret with Florida Mottled Ducks
This Snowy Egret was spotted on June 7, 2016. The pretty, medium-sized wading bird, was fishing for frogs, small fish, or insects, at a man-made stream in The Villages, FL just off the Spanish Springs town square area. The little stream runs behind the Sharon auditorium and empties into Lake Mira Mar.
I shot these pictures in the early evening and there was a young Tri-colored Heron only a few feet away. I was standing on a little bridge over the stream to take the pictures. Each bird was on a different side just near the bridge. I tried hard to be still and quiet so I would not disturb the birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This gorgeous Snowy Egret was spotted at what I refer to as “The Walmart Pond”, a small pond on the side of the Buffalo Ridge Walmart parking lot off of CR 466 near The Villages, FL. I have often gone to this particular pond to watch the egrets, herons, gators and other wildlife there. I took these pictures back on April 9, 2016. It is one of my favorite hot-spots for spotting wading birds.
The Snowy Egret is in its breeding plumage. The Snowy Egret has a black bill, blackish green legs and mustard-yellow feet. It is a smaller egret but is slightly larger than the Cattle Egret. The Snowy Egret eats fish, frogs, tadpoles, aquatic snails, larger aquatic and near shoreline insects and worms. I am usually rewarded by seeing at least a few water birds, ducks, or the big waders. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This flock of Cattle Egrets likely is the first huge flock I have seen in breeding plumage. There were about a hundred big birds resting on the banks of the larger pond next to the Walmart in The Villages on CR 441. I have often gone to this pond to check out the wildlife and take pictures there. It is amazing to see such a large number of egrets at once! By the way, there also were about three or four White Ibis mixed-in with that bunch enjoying the delightful pond.
I also spotted two Great Blue Herons, on American Alligator (a small one), several coots, a couple Double Crested Cormorants, a Great White Heron, and a few ducks. This is a busy wonderful pond! The only downside was the trash that blew into the pond area from the street and busy store parking lot. It has been very windy here. I took these pictures on Saturday afternoon, March 26, 2016, at lunch time. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger photo. Enjoy!