Killdeer at the Freedom Pointe Lakes
Killdeer, Great Blue Herons, a Little Blue Heron, and a number of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were all spotted on and in our little lakes here in The Villages, Florida, in the last several days. Additionally, there were Wood Storks, Anhingas, a few Hooded Merganser Ducks, Ring Necked Ducks, Mallards, Egyptian and Canada Geese, and Great Egrets. I think the Killdeer possibly was standing right on its nest in the picture above, but it may also just be some pebbles.
I enjoy going sound to different lakes to check out what kinds of birds are visiting. More and more (and different) birds are arriving during the Winter migration. Just yesterday, I saw an amazing fifty or so Great Egrets plus about twenty Wood Stork out on one of the small park lakes here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Black-bellied Whistling Duck at Swartz Park on Lake Paradise
Little Blue Heron (Boone Park on Paradise Lake)
Great Blue Heron at a Freedom Pointe area lake
The Mallard Duck
I saw this drake Mallard in my back yard one early evening. I snapped that particular picture through my window. Imagine my surprise as I live about a half-mile from the nearest pond or lake. After having seen this duck, I noticed that there have been a few of these ducks roaming around this neighborhood in the last couple of weeks. Perhaps in search of a honey or maybe just different food? Who can say.
I spotted the Killdeer, Tri-colored Heron and the Great Egret at Santiago Golf Course pond, and the Wood Duck drake at Paradise Lake at Boone Park in The Villages, Florida. This Wood Duck is one of the few Wood Ducks I have ever seen in The Villages.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Tri-colored Heron at Santiago Golf Course Pond
A Great Egret Hunts
A Great Egret at Santiago Golf Course Pond
A Killdeer at Santiago Golf Course
Canada Geese at Boone Park
A Wood Duck at Boone Park
Snowy Egret and Florida Mottled Ducks
Over-heated Common Crows
Eastern Blue Jay Perched on a Fence
Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Florida Mottled Duck
Older Juvenile American White Ibises
Male Downy Woodpecker
It is likely a House Finch that is attempting to use a decorative nest as it’s own. (Edited caption)
Lesser Yellowlegs, and Killdeer were spotted at the then rapidly drying rainfall retention pond here in the development where I live on February 27, 2015. This pond is now dry. The pond fills with heavy rain and sometimes is around two feet deep.
I have spotted Yellowlegs there several times in past months. The Lesser Yellowlegs and the Killdeer were likely eating insects as there are no fish in this temporary pond, and it is unlikely that there were any tadpoles or turtles there, either. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This Killdeer was among the Lesser Yellowlegs and a couple of Common Crows the other day at the larger rainfall retention basin pond. These small shorebirds are frequently found inland on grassy pastures or along gravelled areas. This pond is close to a large cattle pasture and also near large swaths of manicured lawns.
I think the lure of tasty worms and small aquatic insects was what attracted the bird to this pond. Of course, birds do enjoy a refreshing drink of water now and then and do bath. I took these pictures on October 23, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Several Killdeer, a couple of Lesser Yellow Legs and a Mottled Duck were all visitors to the large rainfall retention pond near the gate of our development. This particular large basin is almost drying up. This basin is quite close to an area where recent construction has just finished. The poor Mottled Duck was paddling around in a small but deep puddle at the edge of this basin.
There are three of these larger basin ponds around this housing development, so I often check on which ponds have visiting critters. I took these pictures on Wednesday morning, April 23, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photograph. Enjoy! P.S. So sorry about how late I have posted this today. I was invited on a day-long pontoon boat ride and wildlife photo extravaganza so just got home.
A Killdeer, several Turkey Vultures, and a Hawk (Red-shouldered???), were all seen in the development where I live on December 4, 2013 in the late afternoon. I also spotted a large flock of birds, likely also Killdeer. The Turkey Vultures, often nicknamed “Buzzards”, were circling and soaring. There were three of these large vultures and only one ventured low in the sky.
The Hawk was perched with its back to me, in a small tree. It probably was just resting. The Killdeer was spotted along a section of the golf course fairway near the road. I sure enjoy seeing the broad variety of birds here in Marion County, Florida. More birds are on the way South. I am very interested to find out which birds I will see next. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
An Anole Lizard, A Zebra Long-wing which is the Florida State Butterfly, a Monarch Butterfly, a Killdeer bird, a couple of Grey Squirrels and a Cicada are the subjects of today’s post. The Killdeer was at the same pond where the Little Blue Heron was the other day. Anole lizards are all over the place here in Florida. They can change color from green to brown and even an orange-tan, and are basically harmless.
The Cicada shown may only be an empty shell as it did not move. They have come up and out from their many year-long sleep (some 13 years, others 17 years) underground during their immature stage. The Cicadas go up into the trees, and change shell (exoskeleton). The males make a huge amount of noise to attract their mates, meet their mates, enjoy adult life a bit, the females lay eggs (which hatch and nymphs fall to the ground and burrow down – nymphs suck tree roots for nourishment). The adults then die off as their life cycle completes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Zebra Long-wing, Florida’s State Butterfly
I took these photographs at a local grocery store parking area about a mile from my house. This Killdeer was one of a flock of about 15 that live there near that store area. The Killdeer is about the size of a Mourning Dove but has stilt-like legs. Killdeers have a call that sound much like their name. They look a bit like a Sandpiper and are really shore birds but are not necessarily found always along the seaside or marsh. They are often found inland such as here on the Cumberland Plateau in TN. The Killdeer live around grassy meadows and pastures. In suburban areas, they seem to like the edges of grassy school playgrounds and parks. They don’t mind walking on paved areas either as seen in the photograph above.
The Killdeer builds its nest on the ground. They like closely cropped grassy areas with patches of raw dirt. It will go into a wounded bird act and lead an enemy or predator away from its nest. Once far enough away from the nesting grounds, the Killdeer will then fly off and return to its nest as soon as that predator has left for good. and then fly off once far enough away from the actual nesting grounds. I took these pictures from inside my car. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version.