Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons and Tri-color Herons are the most frequently seen herons here in The Villages, FL. I am also including a shot of a Green Heron that I spotted in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee several years ago, and a Yellow-crowned Night Heron I saw in Belize this last December. These large birds live around fresh water mostly and wade in the shallow water hunting for small fish, frogs, aquatic snails and larger insects. Some of the herons are very colorful such as the Little Blue Heron.
I enjoy watching the birds stroll along the banks of the ponds or lakes and then seriously stare down their prey when on the hunt for their meal. These birds use their sharp-pointed bill to stab catch their meal. Herons usually roost in large trees were they build nests of sticks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Little Blue Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Great Blue Heron on nest
Little Blue Heron
This pair of Great Blue Herons have established a nest rookery in a large Live Oak Tree, dripping with Spanish Mosses, next to the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course on Buena Vista Blvd. in The Villages, Florida.
The big wading birds had made a couple of nests there in the tree but only one of the nests could easily be seen from the multi-modal golf-cart path. Herons like many larger birds, try to create a back-up nest in case of disaster.
Both birds flew across the golf course pond in turn and did a little hunting. I believe the pair may have eggs in this nest since I did not see any chicks. I want to wish everyone a happy Easter! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
These two Great Blue Herons were spotted on Saturday here in The Villages, FL at two different small ponds. The first Great Blue Heron was seen on the shoreline of a tiny almost dry pond near the Hacienda executive golf course here. There was a small thin stream of water almost like a creek flowing at the bottom of the basin. I think the heron was trying for a tasty lizard or snake or possibly a few tadpoles in a puddle. This bird was pretty close to the multi-modal golf cart path so I noticed the heron right away.
The other heron was fishing on the shore of a tiny park pond at the Silver Lake Community Center park a few blocks away from Lake Paradise. I did see the Great Blue Heron take a very short low flight to another spot where it probably felt the fish were headed. These park ponds mainly have smaller fish, frogs, and small turtles in them. I left before I was able to see the bird catch anything. Always fun to watch these Great Blue Herons! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
These Great Blue Herons recently were spotted fishing at two lakes here in The Villages, FL. The big herons are tremendous at wading in shallow water to spear fish or frogs with their long sharp bills. They sometimes also dine on mice if the mouse is close to the shore, and same for small snakes and lizards.
The Great Blue Herons fly to the pond, lake, river or marsh, from their rookery in the tops of larger sturdy trees. After fishing, herons will step out of the water, make a short flight up the shoreline, land, and spread their wings in the Sunshine to dry themselves (if necessary) before returning to the hunt or to the roost. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Herons were spotted in several small lakes and ponds here in The Villages, Florida last evening at twilight.
These herons fish for frogs, crawfish, small fish, small alligators, larger aquatic insects and snails. . I often see the Great Blue Herons. I spotted Great Blue Herons on Lake Paradise, on the Silver Lake Recreation Center’s pond, and on the little pond near CR 466 at Morse. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
At El Santiago Golf Course Pond, The Villages, FL
At Mallory Hill Golf Course Pond, The Villages, FL
Great Blue Herons, that is! Ha! I have spotted a few Great Blue Herons around the community’s ponds in the last few days and have enjoyed photographing these rather majestic wading birds.
The Great Blue Herons eat fish, frogs, turtles, baby alligators, snails, worms, mice, small snakes, lizards, and larger insects. We have had a lot of rain this past week, so the hunting for worms in lawns around the lakes and ponds is particularly easy for the wading birds at the moment. By the way, it is pretty unusual to see a Great Blue Heron on a lawn other than immediately at water’s edge. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Near Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages, FL
At Schwartz Park on Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL
Great Blue Heron
Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Sandhill Cranes, a Limpkin, a few Wood Storks, and a lot of White Ibis, and Snowy Egrets (not pictured), were all spotted here in The Villages, Florida last month, May, 2017.
We often spot the egrets herons and ibis, but the cranes, wood storks, glossy ibis, and limpkin, are only spotted during certain months of the year (Sandhill Cranes being the most easily seen of this particular group of wading birds). We also get to see Tri-colored Herons and Little Blue Herons on occasion.
These larger wading birds enjoy the many small and medium-sized lakes here in our community where the food is usually abundant. We are recovering from a recent drought so the lakes happily are refilling with recent rains.
Most of these big birds eat aquatic snails, frogs, worms, and small fish. Some of the birds such as Sandhill Cranes also eat grains and seeds. I always enjoy getting out and spotting both songbirds and these big beauties! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Pelicans, Great Egret