Common Moorhens and Common Coots are both members of the Rail family of birds. Both of these duck-like birds were spotted a few days ago happily paddling around the marshy shallows of a medium-sized lake in a new nature preserve, the Sharon Rose Weichens Preserve, which has opened at The Villages, Florida. This preserve is also where I photographed the Sherman Fox Squirrels.
The Moorhens and Coots mostly eat vegetation but also will eat insects, worms, and snails. They really are quite good at flying as well as walking on land (but generally only walk near the shore). These birds are often preyed-upon by eagles and hawks. Both genders of Common Coots look-alike, but the hen Common Moorhen is brown rather than the black of the drake Common Moorhen. I am always happy to see the coots and moorhens! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture.
Florida Native Mottled Duck
Wading birds, and waterfowl are favorites of mine. I like observing the big waders such as herons, and egrets. I am also fond of Anhingas, and many kinds of ducks. Here are several snapshots I took in the past couple of weeks that I hope you will enjoy! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture.
Great Blue Heron
Anhinga Submerged (Hunting)
Great Egret and Little Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
A Great Egret, several Snowy Egrets, and a Little Blue Heron all took their places temporarily in a medium-sized Cypress Tree. They were very flighty. I took all but one of these pictures at a little pond near CR 466 in Sumter County, Florida at about 5:45 PM last night. I doubt these birds actually were intending to roost for the night, but were probably just resting a few moments. There are two ponds very close together in the area.
The picture of the Ibises was taken a few minutes later on last evening. It was taken on the shore of the little park lake, located just off of the Spanish Springs Square in The Villages, Florida. Please click on the thumbnail images to see a slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
Yes, I love the Wood Storks! Wood Storks are unusual-looking, and very sweet-tempered big birds. I took these pictures a few weeks ago a small lake in Lake County, Florida. There are a lot of wading birds there during the early evening hours. I generally have seen one or two Wood Storks along the shoreline near the parking lot. The Wood Storks hang out with the throngs of American White Ibises.
The Wood Storks generally will eat aquatic insects, aquatic snails and worms, small tender turtles, frogs, tadpoles (pollywogs), and small fish. The big gentle birds use that huge horn-like bill to scoop up food in the shallow water. These birds roost in larger trees and tend to roost in colonies. I believe the Wood Storks on this lake are there for the abundant food. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Here are a few silly shots of waterfowl, wading birds and birds of prey coming in for a happy landing. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
I happened on this lone Wood Stork hunting for its supper on Sunday, July 19, 2015 in the murky water of a small lake within a park. By the way, Wood Storks use that big heavy bill to scoop through the shallow water to catch prey.
The place where the Wood Stork was located was at the end of a thin arm of the lake. The water had a lot of algae in it, and also a small amount of trash blown in from the adjacent highway. It has been very hot and stormy here in the last week.
I also saw a few ducks, geese, and a Great Egret near the area where the stork was feeding. I always enjoy seeing the Wood Storks! Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that photograph. Enjoy!