Little Blue Heron
Hooded Mergansers, herons, a Pied-billed Grebe, Florida Mottled Ducks, and a Lesser Scaup Ducks were spotted on Nov. 12, 2019 at a neighborhood park pond here in The Villages, FL. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Florida Mottled Ducks
Drake Hooded Merganser
Hooded Merganser Ducks, Hen Lesser Scaup Duck and Pied-billed Grebe
Tri-Colored Heron and Little Blue Heron
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Freshwater Cooter Turtle
Hen Hooded Merganser Duck
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!
Anhinga Drying its Wings
Lesser Scaup Ducks
Hooded Mergansers, Northern Shovelers, Mallards, and Lesser Scaup Ducks are all here in The Villages, Florida right now. I was out and about bird watching at a few local small lakes and golf course ponds and saw many small flocks of these migratory Winter visitors.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and an outstanding New Year in 2019!
Northern Shoveler Ducks
Northern Shoveler Drake (male)
Hen Mallard Duck
Hooded Merganser Ducks
Lesser Scaup (left) and a pair of Hooded Mergansers
Northern Shoveler Ducks
Northern Shoveler Ducks; Hooded Merganser Ducks; and Lesser Scaup Ducks are here in The Villages, FL on various small lakes and ponds. It is so much fun to see our Winter visitors!
The Scaups and Northern Shovelers mostly eat aquatic vegetation, seeds and grains as they are dabbling or tipping ducks. These ducks tip their head down into the water to feed on aquatic plants. The Hooded Mergansers dive under the water to catch fish frogs, tadpoles, crayfish, aquatic worms, and tender small frogs. The Hooded Mergansers mostly paddle or float on the water when not hunting, while some of the other ducks rest on the immediate shoreline during some part of the day.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Hooded Merganser Ducks
Lesser Scaup Ducks, (drakes in black & white)
Lesser Scaups, Hooded Mergansers and a Double-crested Cormorant
Hooded Merganser (drake)
Mergansers; Lesser Scaups; Double-crested Cormorants and Mallard Ducks have been arriving to our local lakes and ponds in recent days. It is so much fun to see the new ducks and water birds here! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Hen Hooded Merganser at Silver Lake Pond
Drake Hooded Mergansers on Silver Lake Pond
Lesser Scaup Ducks on Pond Behind the Mark Twain Library
Lesser Scaups (hens) on Pond Behind the Mark Twain Library
Double-crested Cormorants on Pond Behind the Mark Twain Library
Mallard Ducks (drakes may be Mottled/Mallard hybrids)
Hooded Merganser ducks
Hooded Mergansers, and Double-crested Cormorants were spotted at the pond in the Silverlake Community Center’s small park area here in The Villages, FL this past week. I also spotted a small flock of Lesser Scaup ducks at the nearby Lake Paradise right at Paradise Park in The Villages.
I just am wowed by the huge variety of water birds we have here in The Villages during the winter months! This bunch of scaups have become used to people and behave like typical park ducks begging for, and receiving hand-outs (please do not feed bread to ducks as it is not the healthiest for them). Someone was flinging bread cubes to the seagulls and the ducks rushed over to get in on that action.
Most wild ducks are very wary of people so this behavior of coming near the shore when people are around is unusual in migratory birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Drake (male) Lesser Scaup
A pair of Lesser Scaup ducks
This small flock of Hooded Merganser Ducks arrived at Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL, earlier last week. These are migrating ducks who are late Fall and Winter visitors to Florida. The male or drake duck is the more colorful of the pair. These ducks have a fold or hood of skin and feathers that the bird raises if alarmed or aroused. That is why the ducks are named the way they are.
Hooded Mergansers are diving ducks that eat fish, frogs, larger tadpoles, baby alligators and larger aquatic insects. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Mallard Ducks (males)
Mallards, Black-bellied Whistlers, Ring-necked Ducks and Hooded Mergansers were all visitors here at the little Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL this last two weeks. I took most of the pictures on December 11, 2016.
The Ring-necked Ducks and Hooded Mergansers are both diving ducks that eat fish, frogs, turtles, and larger aquatic insects.
The Whistlers and Mallards (also those Mottled Ducks around) eat both fish and plants. They are tipping ducks that are most often seen with their tails up and heads down in the water when feeding in the water. Mallards (and Mottled Ducks) and The Whistling Ducks seldom totally submerge. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and Hooded Merganser Ducks have been around in the local ponds and small lakes here. I enjoy watching both but tend to be really wowed by the brown, black and white cuties with their vivid pink bills (you know which I mean). Yes, the ducks here are charming! The Hooded Mergansers are migratory here while the whistlers may be local to the region.
The Hooded Mergansers are diving ducks and fish by diving down to catch small fish, frogs, tadpoles, crayfish, large aquatic snails, small tender turtles or larger aquatic insects. The Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are more open to eating both meat and vegetation. They are like their cousins the Mallards in that aspect. Both of these ducks are excellent fliers!
I took these pictures here in my neighborhood and in a nearby neighborhood during the last several weeks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Merry Christmas! I won’t be posting on Friday but will catch up on Saturday. See you then!