This Green Heron was spotted on Sunday afternoon in the flooded marshland off of FL 441 at the overlook at Paynes Prairie State Park. We have had a lot of rain in the last week and it also rained earlier on Sunday. I do not recall ever seeing the marshland looking like a lake before! I also spotted a Great Egret and a male Red-winged Blackbird during our very brief visit to the overlook area. I don’t know the name of the aquatic flower I photographed but it sure was a beautiful blossom! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Male Red-winged Blackbird
Temporary Lake on the Prairie
This lovely Great Blue Heron was perched on the water-level gauge on the far arm at Boone Park, of the little Lake Paradise here in The Villages, FL. I took the pictures on Wednesday evening at around 6:30pm on a soggy night. I took the picture from our golf cart as it was lightly raining at the time. I think these big birds are often not too disturbed by people as the lake is a residential and recreational one. There are a lot of small homes and three parks on its shoreline. By the way, this morning is a bright Sunny one so our rain is diminishing!
This bird was out with a single duck, and Anhinga, and a wonderful Wood Stork. I think these birds were probably trying to get their evening meal in all the rain. It is fun to see the Great Blue Herons here as those big wading birds have a lot of personality. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
I took these pictures at Lake Paradise in The Village in the last couple of days of two Great Blue Herons. Please click on the thumbnail images to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Herons are commonly spotted on most lakes here in The Villages, FL. Along with the Great Egrets and the White Ibis, the Great Blue Herons are fairly easy to spot on the shore. I took these pictures recently of the Great Blue Herons at Paradise Park Lake and at the Freedom Pointe Lake.
These wading birds are still in the remnants of their breeding plumage but are nesting now and will soon molt or lose their breeding feathers. The Great Blue Herons eat fish, frogs, crawfish, small alligators, small turtles, waterfowl eggs and babies, and occasionally small snakes and lizards on the immediate shore area. The Great Blue Herons live mostly around fresh or brackish water ponds, lakes, rivers and marshes/swamps. These herons nest in tall sturdy trees in large stick nests. Sometimes, they will just rest on docks, piers, empty small boats, and yes, gazebo structures! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
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!
Double-crested Cormorants and a Seagull
Water birds, wading birds and turtles were all spotted at Freedom Pointe and Paradise Lakes in The Villages, Florida this past weekend. I am happy that the weather was nice enough to permit a bird watching jaunt both on Friday at dusk and on Saturday afternoon.
The Double-crested Cormorant flock will be flying North in coming days. I was surprised that this flock did not follow the White Pelicans that left for their migration on Friday morning. The Great Egret, Snowy Egret, the Cooter Turtles, Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, and what is probably a Try-colored Heron, are all resident birds here in The Villages, Florida. These birds are mostly meat eaters while the geese love seeds and grasses. I love getting out and about at the many small ponds and lakes and preserves here! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Double-crested Cormorant in the Live Oak Tree Roost
Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorant, Cooter Turtle and a Canada Goose
Great and Snowy Egrets