These two Black Vultures were spotted in the mysterious jungle-like Dora Canal area near Lake Eustis in Lake County, Florida. The Black Vultures live in Florida and in other states along the Gulf of Mexico. These birds also are found in Mexico, around Central America and all the way down into South America.
Like the other Vultures, these are nature’s clean up squad. Even though they are buzzards, they are handsome big birds. I took these pictures during a day-long boat trip around several lakes canals and the Dead River in central Florida on April 25, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy! Wishing all Moms a happy Mother’s Day on Sunday!
Hundred of Cattle Egrets visited this area yesterday. The large white birds with yellow eyes and bill, and black feet, like to walk in grassy pastures. The flock was on the ground milling around near one of the golf courses that borders the huge next-door ranch here. I also saw Egrets in flight over some of the homes in the large development here where I live.
These Cattle Egrets are not yet in breeding colors and don’t have a faint orangish-brown color on the back of their head and neck and sometimes on their undersides. Cattle Egrets are a bit shorter than other Egrets such as the Snowy or Great Egrets.
The Cattle Egrets, following closely behind a herd of cattle. That is why Cattle Egrets have that particular name. They often eat insects found around and sometimes on the cattle.
This is the largest flock of Cattle Egrets I have seen! I took these pictures yesterday afternoon here in the development where I live in Marion County, Florida. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
The small flock of American White Ibises has returned to feed in the lush lawn of the rainfall retention basin across the street from my home. These beautiful big wading birds have been here several times. The Ibises mostly live in both coastal and inland wetlands. The area where I live is about twenty five miles from several river wetland areas, and about sixty miles from both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Ibises were browsing along the edge of the partially filled basin. There are lots of worms and grubs plus larger insects in and around the basin. The storm water is channeled from the street to these neighborhood basins in order to replenish the Florida Aquifer and to minimize potential minor flooding during heavy storms. The Ibises flew in for about an hour and then one by one, flew off to other areas. My neighbors and I really enjoy seeing the Ibises. I took these pictures on June 7, 2013 and June 8, 2013 from the street and from my driveway. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This Great Blue Heron is one of a pair that are resident here at the little farm pond. There are plenty of fish and other aquatic animals plus tasty larger insects to keep the herons happy here. I see the Great Blue Herons nearly every day now. I saw this one on July 30, 2012 and took its picture in mid-afternoon. It was on this side of the pond. The cows are closer to the water since it has been hot so the herons hang out on this side of the pond to avoid the wading cattle. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
The Great Blue Heron comes to visit the little farm pond every couple of days. It hunts for small fish, frogs, worms, aquatic insects, eggs, and other small pond animals. The Canada Geese are managing to keep the heron away from the nest so far. The heron has plenty of fish and frogs here so it won’t bother the geese now. I also noticed that a pair of Wood Ducks paddled past the Great Blue Heron. This was after the heron had already gobbled up its lunch.
The Great Blue Heron has its nest high up in a tall tree on the nearby small private community lake. The herons are a nice addition to the pond here and stay around all-year-long. By the way, I am not sure if the heron is moving the stick as it appears in one of the pictures, or if the bird is taking the stick. If it is taking the stick, that stick likely will be used in nest-building or repair. I took these pictures here in my yard on April 15, 2012. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
The “Resident” Great Blue Heron was out on this side of the shoreline of the little farm pond at about 5:00 pm yesterday. It was hunting for its evening meal. The Great Blue Heron eats small fish, small aquatic animals and insects. It also will occasionally eat small rodents if they happen to be close to wherever the heron is hunting. Herons are wading birds that have long legs and hunt in the shallow water of ponds, lakes, and slower streams. They also can be found in salt water marsh lands. They make their nest up in the crown of taller trees and prefer evergreens when possible. This heron was actively hunting when I snapped these pictures yesterday (March 9 2012). The heron is here about three to four days a week now. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This Great Blue Heron lives a short distance away from my little farm here. The big bird often hangs out on the shoreline opposite my place. The neighbor has a number of cattle on the pasture there on that shoreline and I think that the Heron may like the company of the cows and steers. Who can say? Maybe it is just quieter or better fishing for this bird. I had not seen the heron for about two weeks so I was quite pleased to see it the other day. It was just standing still for many minutes. Possibly resting.
The bird’s peace and quiet was abruptly interrupted when the farmer came along in his truck with a load of tasty fresh hay for the cows to eat. Between the truck’s noise, the cattle mooing in their delight at having their dinner delivered, or the combination of both, the heron had enough and off it flew! I took these pictures on January 3, 2012 in my yard (I was quiet and sort of hid behind the Oaks). I have decided after two years to change the lay-out format of the blog. I hope you’ll like it. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
I was looking out over the lake yesterday late in the afternoon when I spotted a flock of Vultures soaring over the opposite shoreline of the lake. At times, weather conditions are good for the larger birds to just fly and soar around on updrafts. Of course, the other possibility is that the flock was around to do what nature intended for buzzards to do – cleanup work. It was interesting to see eight or so big-winged birds together in the sky over the lake. This is the first time I have seen Turkey vultures in this neighborhood. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!