A Cattle Egret
Cattle Egrets, Snowy Egrets and the Great Egrets have been here in The Villages, Florida this past week at several park lakes. I spotted the Cattle and Snowy Egrets at the Freedom Pointe lakes, and the Great Egret at the gazebo at Boone Park on Paradise Lake.
The Cattle Egrets have only recently arrived here. They usually are found in cattle and horse pastures attending those animals. The Great Egret is large and has the long yellow bill. The Snowy Egret is the small one with the yellow feet and black bill. The Cattle Egrets are also small but have a few small rust-colored patches of feathers on the head and chest and sides in the breeding season.
All of these egrets enjoy insects with the Snowy and Great Egret mostly liking aquatic animals, insects and the occasional small mouse, lizard or snake. I have never yet seen a Reddish Egret here in The Villages, but you never know. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Great Egret Cools Off
The Snowy Egret
I spotted this Great Egret at Schwartz Park at Paradise Lake in The Villages, Florida back in mid-June 2017. The Great Egret immediately took off from the shoreline and flew across the lovely lake to the opposite shoreline.
These are such graceful big birds. I think it is a joy to see them in flight! By the way, we have had some significant amounts of rain which is refilling our local lakes and ponds. The lakes here are pretty full now! It is nice to finally see water under docks.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
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
Great Egrets are seen here in The Villages, FL, all year around. The Great Egrets are the larger of the egrets. One picture here is showing the Snowy Egret next to the towering Great Egret.
The Great Egrets frequent the marshes, lakes, golf ponds, and even flowerbeds and landscaping around buildings here in The Villages, FL as well as other places in the USA.
Great Egrets enjoy eating aquatic animals such as fish, frogs, smaller turtles, some aquatic snails, baby alligators, ducklings, goslings, and shore critters such as mice, lizards and smaller snakes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy! This is dedicated to the memory of those who died in service to the country. Happy Memorial Day to all.
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
Wood Storks, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Double Crested Cormorants, Ring-necked Ducks, and Hooded Mergansers all visited the little park lake (Paradise Lake) here in the past two weeks.
An interesting thing about Wood Storks is how they sit. Their knees bend so that their lower legs rest in front – quite the opposite from many animals. and of course, people.
I took these pictures on Dec. 21-22, 2016. Most of these water birds are meat-eaters and they certainly had easy fishing since our lake is drying up (we are in a drought). I wish all who celebrate, a happy Hanukkah. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! Happy New Year!
Great Blue Heron
Hooded Merganser Ducks
Double Crested Cormorant
Great Egret in Breeding Plumage
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
Great Blue Heron