Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida has an amazing number of birds visiting these days. Of course with the water level so low, there has been very easy access to fish, frogs, tadpoles, turtles, aquatic insects, and aquatic plants. The supermarket for birds has been open for fine dining and the birds have been loving it. No rain other than our big storm on Saturday. That helped a tiny bit. I was glad for the moisture.
I took these pictures on Sunday early in the evening. I spotted the flock of White Pelicans, a Great Blue Heron, a pair of Egyptian Geese, a few Double Crested Cormorants, lots of Canada Geese, a flock of White Ibis, several small shorebirds, crows, and the usual Mallard and Mottled Ducks. I never know what birds will be there so it is a lot of fun to check on the visitors. I think they also somehow check on us, too! Ha!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
Kildeer on the Golf Course
Bluebirds, Cardinals, Killdeer, Blue Jays, and other critters were seen and photographed here in recent days. I hope you have a great Independence Day tomorrow! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Eastern Bluebird Seeing its Reflection in the Window
Eastern Blue Jay
I was out in the yard with the camera the other day and saw the Kildeer in its usual spot on the ground fairly close to the shoreline of the pond. That area has a mossy native plant ground cover as well as stubby grasses. My husband does not mow there because he noticed that the Kildeer was in the area and was nesting. I did not go anywhere near the nest but did stop a moment to take a long-lens photo. That was enough to set the bird off in its defensive “Wounded bird” act. I have included a picture of that action below as my last shot. My husband reported this morning that the bird is sitting on her nest and won’t budge, so likely the chicks are either hatched-out or nearly so this morning. I took these pictures on May 5, 2012. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photograph. Enjoy!
A few Kildeer have been around here lately. They especially browse for insects in the grass near the gulch area and also across the pond in the large cattle pasture that belongs to the next-door neighbor’s farm. Kildeer are shorebirds. They have long legs and a medium-sized pointed slender bill. They are brown on the back and white underneath. They have bands of very dark brown, that is nearly black.
Kildeer nest on the ground in undisturbed quiet areas when possible. The bird tricks predators by playing as injured to draw the predator away from the nest area. I got pretty close to one bird who seemed to just freeze in place when I walked near and stopped. I was about fifteen feet away from the bird and was in plain sight. I took most of the pictures yesterday, April 27, 2012 and also on April 19, 2012 in my yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Kildeer are infrequent visitors here at the little farm. These shorebirds are also found far inland in areas such as my own little farm in Tennessee. The Kildeer are medium-sized birds that are about the size of an American Robin or a Blue Jay. Kildeer have long legs, and a long sharp bill. They are white, brown and black. The Kildeer eat insects and worms. They love hunting for bugs in cultivated gardens but also like gravel driveways, ball fields, and cattle pastures. Their song sounds like their name, a two-syllable “Kill-deer”.
This is the third time I have seen any Kildeer here at the little farm. I think more Kildeer may live next door in a grassy lawn or maybe also across the pond at the large cattle pastures there. Kildeer often try to lead predators away from their nests (on the ground) by pretending to be wounded and running away from the nest site. Many times, this ruse is successful. Clever birds! I enjoyed seeing this bird and taking its picture on March 27, 2012 in my yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
I returned home from an errand in town to find a small flock of Kildeer and some European Starlings in what will become the vegetable garden spot next Spring. I purchased the property with the space already roto-tilled, so the birds must think that this bare ground is very interesting. I’ll bet that there are many tasty worms there for the taking. When the flock spotted me, well, off they flew!
Kildeer are shore birds that also happily live in pastures. I have plenty of pasture as do my neighbors here. The Kildeer are known for distracting intruding animals and people away from their nesting area by pretending to be injured. The intruder follows what they think is a wounded bird, far enough away from the nesting site, and then, surprisingly, the Kildeer flies off! A handy pretense.
I snapped these few shots late in the afternoon yesterday. It has been cooler, cloudy, and very windy here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!