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Posts tagged ‘Herons’

Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Herons are now beginning to raise young and are molting (losing breeding feathers) so they are mostly on their nests unless hunting for a meal.  They wade in shallow water in the early morning and late afternoon to catch fish, frogs, ducklings, shoreline snakes, lizards, and nearly anything else they can catch to eat.

We have a year-around population of Great Blue Herons here in The Villages, Florida.  These birds nest in colonies way up in sturdy Oaks and Pines near ponds or lakes.  Many are now proud parents and will be raising chicks for several more weeks.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Sandhill Cranes and a Little Blue Heron

Sandhill Cranes

A pair of Sandhill Cranes and a Little Blue Heron were seen at two ponds here in The Villages, Florida last week.  I saw the cranes on the shore of the small pond near Live Oaks Park on Morse Blvd. near CR 466, and the Little Blue Heron was at Freedom Pointe Lakes (The larger lake).  By the way, it has been very windy on several days here so a bit of blown-in trash is evident in the pictures.  Most of our shorelines are very clean here and this is a rare occurrence.

Both of these are wading birds that eat fish, frogs, aquatic snails, larger aquatic insects, small shoreline snakes, baby waterfowl, and baby Alligators.  The cranes also will eat grains and seeds.  I love seeing these beautiful big birds here!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo.  Enjoy!

Sandhill Cranes

Little Blue Heron

Sandhill Crane

River Wildlife Pt. 2: Herons

Tri-colored Heron

Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, a Tri-Colored Heron, and a Black-Crowned Night Heron were all spotted on 2/14/19 in the morning on the St. John’s River here in Florida.  I was a passenger on a two-hour nature cruise from the Blue Springs State Park.

I have only seen four Black-Crowned Night Herons so I was thrilled to see this one.  There were many Great Blue Herons as well as several Little Blue Herons along the shoreline of the river.  I will be posting Part 3 of the series on Wednesday.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Little Blue Heron

Great Blue Herons on their nests

Little Blue Heron with Glossy Ibis

 

 

 

Great Blue Heron

Black-Crowned Night Heron

Black-Crowned Night Heron

Great Blue Herons

 

Great Blue Herons are fairly commonly seen here in The Villages, Florida on our various ponds, freshwater marshes, and lakes.

These birds wade in the shallows to spear fish, frogs, small turtles, aquatic snails, larger aquatic insects and worms and the occasional duckling or even baby alligator for tasty meal.  The Great Blue Herons most often hunt early in the morning and late in the afternoon until it is too dark for them to find prey.

The Great Blue Heron usually nests in sturdy tall trees but as seen in the picture here, sometimes the herons will create a nest in a swamp or marsh, where they are protected by alligators and the water itself.  The photo of the nesting Great Blue Heron includes a fuzzy taupe-colored very small chick next to the parent’s bill.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

A Little Blue Heron and Friends

This Little Blue Heron and a pair of Mallard Ducks were spotted on the shore of a small pond in the Buffalo Plaza shopping area next to the NYPD Pizza restaurant on CR 466 in The Villages, FL on Friday at twilight.  I have sometimes seen a Little Blue Heron at this pond at times in the past during the Winter months.  There also was a camera shy Common Moorhen at the pond.

I have photographed birds at the pond before but it has been quite a while since I have seen much there.  I did check out the larger pond just to the Northeast on the Eastern side of the Walmart parking lot but did not see anything there other than a Great Egret.  Recently there has been some landscaping with the big grasses and reeds having been cut so perhaps that has affected the desirability of the pond for the big birds.  I also did not see any alligators.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Some Avian Villagers

Drake Hooded Merganser Duck

Tai-Colored Herons, Wood Storks, Hooded Merganser Ducks, Sandhill Cranes, White Ibis, Double-Crested Cormorants, Anhingas, and many more large exotic birds are seen here in The Villages, Florida on and in our many ponds and small lakes.  It also is not unusual to see a Great Egret strolling through the shrubbery on street parkways.

There are always many varieties of large and small birds around this community and its many neighborhoods to observe!  It is such a pleasant hobby to go out bird watching!  I am sure many of the readers here will agree!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo!  Enjoy!

Wood Stork

Double-Crested Cormorants

White Ibis

 

 

Sandhill Crane

Tri-Colored Heron

Anhinga Drying its Wings

Some Water Birds and Mottled Ducks

A Great Egret in the Cypress Tree, a Tri-color Heron, an Anhinga, a juvenile White Ibis with a Little Blue Heron were all spotted at Freedom Pointe Lake and at the nearby Hacienda Golf Course pond here in The Villages, FL on a recent afternoon.  All are interesting birds!

The egrets were up in the trees due to it being cloudy with a very good chance of thunderstorms to happen (it did rain about a half-hour later).  These birds were very close to the multi-modal golf cart paths that skirt many ponds and lakes here.  It affords me a good chance to spot birds up close.  Handy for taking pictures!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Herons Are Handsome Wading Birds!

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

Great Blue Herons, a Green Heron, Little Blue Heron, a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron, and a Tri-colored Heron are some of the most prominent Herons here in the United States.  I am happy to be able to see many of these birds here in Central Florida fairly often.  The Black-crowned Night Heron was spotted at Lake Apopka, and the others here in The Villages, FL.

These wading birds primarily eat fish, frogs, crayfish, aquatic snails, aquatic insects, salt water crabs, ducklings, bird eggs, and tender small turtles.  All are great at flying.

The herons walk along the shoreline of lakes, ponds, rivers, and even the ocean, and try to spear their prey for a meal.  The birds tend to feed early in the morning and from late afternoon into early evening hours. Herons tend to spend the day by themselves or in small numbers.  They roost in a larger flock in tall trees like Cypress, Pine and Oaks.   I love spending time outside observing the herons!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Green Heron

 

Great Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Freedom Pointe Lake, Lake Paradise Birding

Mottled Ducks, Egyptian Geese, a Tri-colored Heron, an Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, and Great Egret were all spotted a few days ago on Freedom Pointe Lake and Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL.

The Great Blue Heron, Egyptian Geese, and Anhinga were all sitting on what I call “Pelican Point”.  That is the spot where a huge congregation of White Pelicans sits most of the Winter.

The Mottled Duck group was found on Lake Paradise near Boone Park, and the Trip-colored Heron was on the side pond next to Freedom Pointe Lake on Morse Blvd.

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  As ever, enjoy!

 

White Egrets and Little Blue Herons

Little Blue Heron and Great Egret

 

A Little Blue Heron in its juvenile white phase, a Cattle Egret, a Snowy Egret, and a Great Egret are all egrets that to some degree are similar in looks.  The juvenile Little Blue Heron is white with greenish-yellow legs and a pale bluish-grey bill with a dark tip.

The Cattle Egret is a smaller white-colored egret but is stocky in build and has a rust-colored streak and yellow bill.  The Snowy Egret is also a small white egret, but it has black and yellow legs and feet with a mostly black bill.

The larger egret is the Great Egret which is white with black legs and a yellow bill. So here are the photographs which hopefully show these differences.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Snowy Egret

Little Blue Heron

 

 

 

Great Egret and Snowy Egret

Great Egret

 

Cattle Egret

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