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Posts tagged ‘Environment’

An Osprey at the Lake

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This Osprey was perched up in a tall Pine Tree on the far shoreline of the little Lake Paradise, across from Paradise Park in The Villages, FL.  I took the picture early Friday evening at about 5:30pm.  The Osprey was finishing its meal of a fish and after a few minutes, the majestic bird of prey flew off to other adventures!

Osprey, or Sea Eagles, and Sea Hawks as they are sometimes known, are keen hunters of fish, frogs, and the occasional small bird, baby alligator, duckling, gosling, or snake.  The Osprey live near bodies of water such as the oceans, lakes or rivers.  They prefer fish over most of the other foods I have mentioned.  They fish by snatching their prey with their sharp thick talon claws and then they fly up to a tree or tall post and eat.  These birds are found all over the United States.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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A Southern Bald Eagle in The Villages, FL

 

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This Southern Bald Eagle was spotted perching on the top of a high tension electric line tower at the Santiago Golf Course, and Recreation Center in The Villages, Florida.  This tower over-looks the large golf course pond which also attracts a lot of wild birds and ducks.  So in addition to fish, there seems to be plenty to eat for this eagle.

I think this eagle frequents the tower as I saw the same bird in the same place two evenings in a row.  I photographed the bird at about 7:00pm on May 18-19, 2016.  By the way, I have heavily cropped the photographs so you can more easily see the bird.   I so enjoy seeing the amazing amount of wildlife here in The Villages!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of that photo.  Enjoy!

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Florida Sandhill Cranes in The Villages, FL

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Sandhill Cranes have made their home in The Villages, FL at several locations.  They enjoy eating tender grasses so the big birds may be found around some of the golf courses and parks.  They also spend time near ponds and lakes for the water source.  They do not like wooded or tremendously marshy land except to travel through or to get a drink of water.  They prefer cleared land.  They also eat grains.

This pair of Sandhill Cranes are native here in Florida and have not migrated.  That is how one tells the natives from the migratory cranes from the Midwestern areas of the United States.  Basically, both types of Sandhill Cranes are nearly the same.  I am always thrilled to see the Sandhill Cranes here!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly smaller version of the photo.  Enjoy!  Wishing all Moms a Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday!

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A Pied-billed Grebe and Common Moorhens

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

A Pied-billed Grebe and several Common Moorhens were spotted a few days ago at the lovely Sharon Weichens Preserve in The Villages on Lake Deaton.  The Pied-billed Grebe is a small duck-like water bird that dives for fish, frogs, tadpoles, small turtles and larger aquatic insects.  The little grebe is shy and pretty wary of people, preferring to dive in the middle of freshwater bodies of water such as ponds and lakes.  This grebe has a tan-colored medium-sized bill that has a black wavy stripe along the middle of it.

I enjoy seeing the Common Moorhens here in The Villages.  They are similar to Common Coots but instead of having a white fleshy area over their bill, they have a bright red area.  The hens are a grayish-brown and the drakes are charcoal grey to black sometimes with a slight purple hue.  They are quite similar to Purple Gallinules which are their cousins.  These birds eat aquatic plants, and grasses.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!

The Pied-billed Grebe

The Pied-billed Grebe

An Observation Deck at the Preserve

An Observation Deck at the Preserve

Male Common Moorhen

Male Common Moorhen

 

Hen Common Moorhen

Hen Common Moorhen

Common Moorhen in Flight

Common Moorhen in Flight

Lake Deaton Scenery Viewed from the Preserve

Lake Deaton Scenery Viewed from the Preserve

This Blog’s Anniversary!

Red-headed Woodpecker, Crossville, TN

Red-headed Woodpecker, Crossville, TN

Lake St. George, Fairfield Glade, TN

Lake St. George, Fairfield Glade, TN

 

Wood Stork, Sumter County, FL

Wood Stork, Sumter County, FL

 

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Lake St. George, Fairfield Glade, TN

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American Robins, Marion County, FL

 

 

Great Horned Owlet, Sholom Park, Ocala, FL

Great Horned Owlet, Sholom Park, Ocala, FL

This month is the sixth anniversary of this blog! How time flies  I started out talking about the critters I saw daily while we lived along the shoreline of a beautiful lake in a residential resort near Crossville, in Cumberland County, Tennessee.   Next, we lived a year at a little six acre place also in the Crossville, TN area.

Finally, we decided to make the move South to warmer Florida were we lived in Marion County near Ocala, and now live in Lake County, Florida.

A big thank you to all of you who read the blog! I appreciate you!   Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version.  These are some older snapshots I know you will enjoy revisiting.  Enjoy!

Green Heron, Dunnellon, Fl

Green Heron, Dunnellon, Fl

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron, Sumter County, FL

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Ocala, FL

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Ocala, FL

 

The Little Farm in Crossville, TN

The Little Farm in Crossville, TN

Roseate Spoonbills Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve, Sanibel Island, FL

Roseate Spoonbills
Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve, Sanibel Island, FL

Lake Sumter, The Villages, FL

Lake Sumter, The Villages, FL

 

Little Blue Herons in Different Plumage

White Morph or Phase Little Blue Heron

Juvenile Little Blue Heron in White 

The Little Blue Heron is a gorgeous wading bird that actually is a member of the egret family of birds!  I am showing both the older juvenile in its white morph, and the adults in what probably is its breeding colors (fairly bright purple-blue).

The Little Blue Heron eats fish, frogs, young tender turtles, aquatic snails, tadpoles, crayfish, aquatic insects, eggs, ducklings, and some shoreline rodents and insects.  They live around marshy areas of ponds, lakes, springs, and rivers.

I usually see the Little Blue Herons close to the shoreline.  The Little Blue Herons are medium in stature and prefer to wade in shallow water.  They are expert in flight, too.  I see the Little Blue Heron mostly in the early morning or late afternoon.  I took these pictures on January 14, 2016, and again on January 16, 2016.  I snapped the pictures at the pond on Sumter County Road 466 next to the Walmart at The Villages; and at the Sharon Rose Wiechens Nature Preserve in The Villages, Florida.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Little Blue Heron in blue breeding phase

Little Blue Heron in blue breeding phase

White Phase Little Blue Heron

White Phase Little Blue Heron

 

 

 

Blue Phase Little Blue Heron (Adult)

Blue Phase Little Blue Heron (Adult)

 

Blue Morph Little Blue Heron

Adult  Little Blue Heron

Blue Morph Little Blue Heron (Likely in breeding plumage)

Little Blue Heron in Breeding Plumage

White Phase Little Blue Heron

White Phase Little Blue Heron (older juvenile)

A Visit to the Shopping Center Ponds

A Young Alligator

A Young Alligator

Coot

Coot

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

Alligators, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Bufflehead Duck, Mallard Ducks, Common Moorhens, Anhingas, Pied-billed Grebe, and Common Coots all were spotted at two small ponds right next to a small shopping center area near The Villages, Florida on Highway 466.  Yes, right next to the Walmart!  I took these pictures yesterday afternoon (Jan. 14, 2016).  I have taken pictures at these ponds several different times in the last year.  There often is wildlife to be seen there.

I am amazed at how well wildlife copes with all the new development.  I am glad these wetlands, though tiny, were saved!  I spotted three Alligators in the larger of the two ponds by the way and one of those was decent sized!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture.  Enjoy!

Mallard Duck

Drake Mallard Ducks

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Pair of Mallard Ducks

Pair of Mallard Ducks

 

Great Egret

Great Egret

 

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

Drake (male) Bufflehead Duck

Drake (male) Bufflehead Duck

 

Common Moorhen

Common Moorhen

Alligator

Alligator

Anhinga

Anhinga

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