Egrets abound here in The Villages and in Central Florida around ponds, lakes, streams and marshlands. Great Egrets sometimes do hunt in landscaped areas near homes and businesses as they will eat snakes mice and lizards if hungry. We mostly have Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and Cattle Egrets here in Central Florida. I have included a photo of a white-phase Little Blue Heron which is very similar to the Snowy Egret.
The Cattle Egret is primarily found near cattle or horse pasture lands but also sometimes can be found near lakes and ponds where it drinks and sometimes hunts along the shore.
I have only seen one Reddish Egret here and that was near Dunellon about four years ago. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly smaller version of the photo. Enjoy!
White phase Little Blue Heron
This juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron was spotted on the North Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive near Apopka, FL on Saturday, September 1, 2018. I also saw an adult Black-crowned Night Heron perched on a very distant tree but my photograph was not good enough to add-in here. The juvenile was fairly close sitting on a sturdy tree limb just across a narrow canal from the roadway. This is the first juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron I have ever seen. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
This Great Egret was perched several posts away from the Great Blue Heron on a small golf course and residential pond in The Villages, FL, near Orange Blossom Gardens, when the egret decided to sneak ever closer to the heron. After reaching the next post to the heron, the egret decided enough was enough and off it flew.
The whole sequence of events here was pretty amusing as the heron had basically no reaction to the ever closer presence of the egret. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
When I spotted the Snowy Egret a few days ago in The Villages (my post of June 12, 2016), I also saw a handsome Tri-colored Heron on the opposite side of the little bridge I was standing upon. I took turns taking pictures of both of the wading birds without disturbing either one.
The Tri-colored Heron is a medium heron with a soft grey-blue coloring mixed with a bit of maroon red and creamy white. It primarily eats small fish, frogs, crawfish, tender small turtles, eggs, and larger aquatic insects. These birds wade in the shallow water of ponds, lakes, small creeks, rivers, and both fresh and salt water marshes. Tri-colored Herons are excellent at flying and fly home to roost in tall trees at the close of the day.
I really enjoy the rare chance to spot this bird here. I saw this Tri-colored Heron, and the Snowy Egret, behind the Sharon theater in the Spanish Springs area on June 7, 2016 in the early evening hours at the man-made stream that empties into Lake Mira Mar. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
This Little Blue Heron was hunting for its dinner in the shallow waters on the marshland edge of Lake Sumter in The Villages, Florida at “Sunrise Point”.
The Little Blue Heron like its larger cousin, the Great Blue Heron, eats fish, frogs, crayfish, small turtles, aquatic snails, water fowl eggs, mice, and larger insects. I did not see this particular bird actually get any prey but it sure did try! I had a good view from a raised wooden deck platform in the park and also from the lawn on another part of the small park on the edge of the marsh.
The Little Blue Heron is a small purple-blue heron that often has a juvenile white phase where it closely resembles an egret. I really enjoyed watching this bird and am thrilled to live near many ponds and lakes where there are many wading and water birds around. I took these pictures last night at dusk (November 2, 2015). Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
This is a Little Blue Heron and not an egret! I understand how a person could be confused. The Little Blue Herons have a white color phase as juveniles. Yes, the Little Blue Herons really will turn that purple blue color that most people are familiar with.
I spotted this Little Blue Heron on a small pier at a little park lake in The Villages, Florida near Spanish Springs Square on September 13, 2015. Please click on the thumbnail image to see a very slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
Here are some of the other critters I saw during my short vacation trip to St. Augustine, Florida a week ago. The Great Blue Heron was spotted at the RV park we stayed at. The Mallard flock and Great Cormorant were also RV park residents.
I spotted the Anhinga and the Common Cooter and Florida Soft Shell Turtle at a large freshwater pond behind the police station in St. Augustine Beach. I briefly saw the shell of that Soft Shell Turtle and can say that it was a very large turtle. That big pond was chock-full of turtles. I think I saw at least ten. I took these pictures on August 20, 2014 and again on August 21, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Hybrid Mallard & Mottled Cross Ducks
Florida Softshell Turtle
Common Cooter Turtle
Two Snowy Egrets joined the Little Blue Heron at the golf course pond here last evening at twilight. It seemed like the big wading birds were out fishing for dinner. The Snowy Egrets are medium-sized wading birds with bright yellow feet, lighter yellow legs, and a touch of yellow above their bill. They are a bright white in color. The Little Blue Heron is probably the same one that I photographed a few days ago in that same pond.
One side of this pond is along the golf course fairway, and the other side is just off a street here. This pond usually stays full of water all year around unlike the rainfall retention ponds elsewhere in this development. I took these pictures last evening at about 6:00PM. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!