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Posts tagged ‘Great Blue Heron’

More Scenes from Paradise

 

Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida has an amazing number of birds visiting these days.  Of course with the water level so low, there has been very easy access to fish, frogs, tadpoles, turtles, aquatic insects, and aquatic plants.  The supermarket for birds has been open for fine dining and the birds have been loving it.  No rain other than our big storm on Saturday.  That helped a tiny bit. I was glad for the moisture.

I took these pictures on Sunday early in the evening.  I spotted the flock of White Pelicans, a Great Blue Heron, a pair of Egyptian Geese, a few Double Crested Cormorants, lots of Canada Geese, a flock of White Ibis, several small shorebirds, crows, and the usual Mallard and Mottled Ducks.  I never know what birds will be there so it is a lot of fun to check on the visitors.  I think they also somehow check on us, too!  Ha!

Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that picture.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

More from the Sharon Wiechens Preserve

Here are the last of the photographs I took last week at the Sharon Wiechens Nature Preserve in The Villages, FL.  I saw a Great Blue Heron; the bill and neck of an Anhinga bird peeking out of the murky canal water in front of the lake; a Coot; and a male Boat-tailed Grackle.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Anhinga

Boat-tailed Grackle (male)

Coot

 

 

A Flock of Florida Sandhill Cranes

This flock of about eleven Sandhill Cranes visited the rapidly drying-up beautiful little Paradise Lake in The Villages, Florida on Monday, April 3, 2017 at dusk.  I think the feeding was great for the big birds!  There were a lot of aquatic plants exposed as well as easily caught minnows, tadpoles, small fish, frogs, and the like.

I think these birds were doing courtship dances as several were hopping and flapping their wings.  They also were vocalizing in a low soft manner.  It also was pretty humorous to see a Great Blue Heron fly over near where the cranes were at and see the reaction of both kinds of birds.  After just a moment of being harassed by the cranes, the heron flew to another area of the lake were the other birds were tiny ones!  Ha!

I believe this group is just visiting but may be from the region.  We have both migratory and native Sandhill Cranes here.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!  P.S.  It rained on Tuesday – a nice good soaker!  – Wildlifewatcher

 

Herons

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, and Little Blue Herons are the most commonly seen herons here in The Villages, Florida.  The Great Blue Heron is the most frequently seen, followed by the Little Blue Heron.  I think I have only seen one Green Heron here and that was a year ago.

All of these herons are wading birds that shuffle along in the shallows of the lakes and ponds to spear fish, frogs, or turtles with their long sharp bills.  They also eat larger insects, small lizards, and large aquatic insects or snails.

The herons roost up in tall trees.  Many prefer the Cypress Trees here.  Some also will roost in the medium-sized trees where there also are Ibis or Egrets.  We used to have a large area of roosts on Morse Blvd. (I had photographed it and posted about it many months ago) but that area seems out of favor with the birds in recent months.  I don’t know the reason for the big move.  It could be a case of too much threat from coyotes or other predators.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the photo.

Tri-colored Heron

Little Blue Heron

Birds at Paradise Lake, The Villages, FL

White Pelicans

White Pelicans

Ring-necked Ducks

Ring-necked Ducks

Osprey

Osprey

 

 

 

 

White Pelicans, Wood Storks, Great Blue Herons, Osprey, Ring-necked Ducks, Hooded Merganser Ducks, Great Egrets, a Belted Kingfisher, Sandhill Cranes, and a Red-tailed Hawk were all spotted on our neighborhood park lake within the past two weeks.  It was amazing!  I so enjoy bird watching and it was really fun to see so many different birds here at once.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo.  Enjoy!

Red-tailed Hawk in Flight

Red-tailed Hawk in Flight

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

 

 

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Egrets

Great Egrets

Tri-colored Herons and Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Herons and Great Blue Herons make their home on the lovely little Lake Paradise here in The Villages, FL.  This small private residential lake often hosts a few of the large wading birds.  I took these pictures mostly from Swartz Park.

The Tri-colored Herons are steel grey, cream, and have maroon highlights on the upper neck and back.  They have yellow legs and a brownish-yellow bill.  These birds eat fish, frogs, turtles, aquatic insects, aquatic snails, and occasionally ducklings.

Great Blue Herons are among the larger of the wading birds.  These birds are medium-grey, with black and white.  They often have a few back hanging feathers off of the crown of their head like a long mohawk.  They occasionally are seen in an all white color, which is quite similar to the way the Great Egret looks.  These herons eat basically the same foods as the Tri-colored Herons do.  The Great Blue Herons sleep and nest up in large trees, preferring evergreens or Cypresses.

I took these pictures during the late afternoon on a couple of days in the past week.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Great Blue Heron and Tri-colored Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron was spotted along with a lovely Tri-colored Heron, at the tiny neighborhood Swartz Park on Lake Paradise, in The Villages, Florida, on Tuesday evening (9/20/16) at about 5:30PM.

The Great Blue Heron was perched on the top of a neighboring residential fishing dock gazebo.  The Tri-colored Heron was out successfully fishing for its dinner.  The Great Blue Heron never moved in the five minutes I spent birding at that location.

The Tri-colored Heron was always in motion – stalking in the shallow water;  perching on the top of a cypress; or flying between lake shore areas.  Both of these herons fish for their meals of fish, frogs, tadpoles, small tender turtles, and snails by stabbing with their sharp sword-like bills.  Occasionally, these wading birds will also eat smaller shoreline animals or large insects.

I always have a lot of fun bird watching in this neighborhood lake.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Reflection of the Great Blue Heron on the lake

Reflection of the Great Blue Heron on the lake

 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron with Fish

Tri-colored Heron with Fish

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

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