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Posts tagged ‘Little Blue Herons’

A Little Blue Heron Fishes For Dinner

This Little Blue Heron was spotted here in The Villages, Florida at the Santiago golf course pond on Enrique Drive on Saturday evening at about 5:00pm.  I was driving around that area trying to look for the Bald Eagles I sometimes spot there, and came upon the heron while it was fishing for its dinner.

This large pond is right up against the street so when the big wading birds or the ducks are present, it is easy to see them.  This golf course is closed and under maintenance now so the birds are more at ease being there.  The Santiago golf course pond is in a residential area and at the recreation center with parking there for cars and carts.

The Little Blue Herons are around the community but not at every lake or pond.  I would say, I see a Little Blue Heron about every few weeks.  The White Ibis or Great Blue Herons are much more commonly seen here.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Little Blue Herons

Little Blue Heron at Ochlockonee River State Park, Florida

I spotted these Little Blue Herons at the little lake behind Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL  at a vernal pool in the campground at the Ochlockonee River State Park near St. Mark’s National Wildlife Sanctuary in North-Central Florida, and also at both Schwartz and Boone Parks in The Villages at Lake Paradise (which is now refilling with water).  I saw these beautiful big wading birds within the last month (Schwartz and Boone  herons possibly with Snowy Egrets or juvenile herons, on Wednesday).

The Little Blue Herons start as white juveniles and as they age, they turn a beautiful purple blue with olive-green legs and feet.  They are much more of a blue hue than the similar-looking Reddish Egret.

The Little Blue Herons eat frogs, fish, crawfish, small turtles, baby alligators, ducklings, and occasionally aquatic snails, worms, and larger aquatic insects.  They generally spear their prey with their sharp long bill and then gulp the food down.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Little Blue Heron at Boone Park in The Villages, FL

Little Blue Heron at Schwartz Park in The Villages, FL

 

 

 

Little Blue Heron at Ochlockonee River State Park in Florida

Snowy Egret with Little Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL

Little Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL

Wordless Wednesday: Wading Birds & Waterfowl

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

I took these pictures this past Saturday  during the early evening, at little Paradise Lake in The Villages, Florida.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture.  Enjoy!

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Florida Mottled Duck

Florida Mottled Duck

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

A Visit to the Sharon Rose Weichens Preserve in The Villages, FL

 

 

Mystery Bird - Hawk? Falcon?

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Mystery Hawk , Falcon?

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Mystery Hawk? Falcon?

Sharp-shinned Hawk

 

Yesterday afternoon my husband and I visited the Weichens nature preserve here in The Villages, FL.  We saw several really wonderful birds.  No squirrels this time as it was hot and very windy out.  One has to take their time at this preserve.  Because the rules say that visitors need to stay on the sidewalk and boardwalk, the viewing space through the lawn area is pretty distant as far as birds go.  The Sherman’s Fox Squirrels usually hang out on the ground near the sidewalk so that is a plus.

Take your time if visiting.  Being patient is helpful in that birds often appear out of nowhere and only stay a brief moment or two in one spot.  By the way, thanks to a knowledgeable reader, I have identified the hawk I saw yesterday as a Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Beautiful bird!   Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture.  Enjoy!

Male Common Moorhen

Male Common Moorhen

Family of Common Moorhens

Family of Common Moorhens

Osprey in Flight

Osprey in Flight

 

Anhingas

Anhingas

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

Common Moorhen Chick

Common Moorhen Chick

Juvenile Little Blue Heron in White

Older Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Older Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Juvenile Little Blue Herons have white feathers and grow increasingly blue as they age.  On Saturday, April 9, 2016, I spotted two Little Blue Herons, each in a different pond.  One was quite young while the other was older and was in the beginning of growing blue feathers.  I also saw a very light Little Blue Heron adult which, at first, I almost mistook for a Reddish Egret (The Reddish Egrets have more of a magenta cast and a slightly pink bill).

I saw one of the Little Blue Herons in The Villages, Fl, at a pond on Pinellas Drive (with the adult Little Blue Heron), and the other Little Blue Heron at the pond next to the Walmart in The Villages on CR 466.  I am also including a photo of an adult Little Blue Heron in dark breeding feathers that I took about a month ago.   I think it is amazing how different the Little Blue Heron looks in both phases.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture.  Enjoy!

Older Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Older Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Older Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Older Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

 

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Adult Little Blue Heron in Breeding Colors

Adult Little Blue Heron in Breeding Colors

Adult (Very light) Little Blue Heron

Adult Little Blue Heron

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Blue Heron at Live Oaks Park

DSC_5046

I recently spotted this Little Blue Heron at the beautiful little Live Oaks Park in The Villages, Florida.  The violet-blue wading bird was out in the marsh fishing for its dinner.  These beautiful medium-sized wading birds eat fish, frogs, smaller tender turtles, tadpoles, and aquatic insects for the most part.

Like most egrets and herons, they spear their prey with their sharp bills.  I enjoy seeing both the purple version of the Little Blue Heron and the white juvenile phase.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

DSC_5047DSC_5053DSC_5049

Little Blue Herons in Different Plumage

White Morph or Phase Little Blue Heron

Juvenile Little Blue Heron in White 

The Little Blue Heron is a gorgeous wading bird that actually is a member of the egret family of birds!  I am showing both the older juvenile in its white morph, and the adults in what probably is its breeding colors (fairly bright purple-blue).

The Little Blue Heron eats fish, frogs, young tender turtles, aquatic snails, tadpoles, crayfish, aquatic insects, eggs, ducklings, and some shoreline rodents and insects.  They live around marshy areas of ponds, lakes, springs, and rivers.

I usually see the Little Blue Herons close to the shoreline.  The Little Blue Herons are medium in stature and prefer to wade in shallow water.  They are expert in flight, too.  I see the Little Blue Heron mostly in the early morning or late afternoon.  I took these pictures on January 14, 2016, and again on January 16, 2016.  I snapped the pictures at the pond on Sumter County Road 466 next to the Walmart at The Villages; and at the Sharon Rose Wiechens Nature Preserve in The Villages, Florida.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Little Blue Heron in blue breeding phase

Little Blue Heron in blue breeding phase

White Phase Little Blue Heron

White Phase Little Blue Heron

 

 

 

Blue Phase Little Blue Heron (Adult)

Blue Phase Little Blue Heron (Adult)

 

Blue Morph Little Blue Heron

Adult  Little Blue Heron

Blue Morph Little Blue Heron (Likely in breeding plumage)

Little Blue Heron in Breeding Plumage

White Phase Little Blue Heron

White Phase Little Blue Heron (older juvenile)

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