The Rail family of birds includes moorhens, gallinules and coots. All are marsh birds that have a chicken-like appearance but act more like wading birds and ducks. All eat a variety of seeds, and mostly aquatic insects (some land based worms and grubs too).
The Common Moorhen is black for the males and brown for the hens with a red fleshy area over their beak. The Purple Gallinule is a flashy turquoise with purple accents and the red fleshy area over the beak. The Common Coot is black with the white fleshy area over the beak. All behave fairly the same. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
Juvenile Little Blue Heron
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Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Adult Little Blue Heron
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I spotted this Limpkin at the shoreline of Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL on Saturday evening at dusk. The Limpkin is a wading bird that is unique as it is not related to the other types of wading birds although it does resemble the rails and the bittern (and even juvenile Green Herons). These birds primarily eat aquatic snails with Apple Snails being preferred. This is the first Limpkin I have seen at Lake Paradise but I had seen one on the nearby Lake Miramar just across the highway, several months ago on three occasions.
Limpkin are mostly active at night and are very shy. This particular bird was standing on a concrete culvert on the immediate shoreline about twenty feet from the multi-modal (golf carts, bicycles and pedestrians) pathway leading to the Silver Lake Village neighborhood. I am thrilled to have seen the bird and photographed it. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This Limpkin has visited the little Lake Mira-Mar in The Villages, FL near Spanish Springs several times. I have previously photographed the big wading bird at this same location. I usually see the Limpkin at the Veteran’s Park area next to the golf cart path at the approach to the golf cart bridge. The bird is pretty secretive and is usually nocturnal so the best times to see it would be early in the morning and at dusk. I took these pictures at dinner-time last night.
Limpkins are a wading bird that love eating the aquatic Apple Snails found in the small lakes here in The Villages. There are not very many Limpkins around at all. I have only seen three (and one of my sightings may well have been this bird at a different spot). The Limpkins are marsh birds that are primarily living here in Florida in the USA.
These birds are vaguely similar in looks to juvenile White Ibis, juvenile Green Herons and Bitterns. All are about the same size and have a streaky brown coloring. The Limpkin the only bird of its family type and is not related to rails or even the cranes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Here are more pictures that I took of the largest and rapidly shrinking, rainfall retention basin pond here in the development. I took these pictures of a lone Snowy Egret and three Lesser Yellowlegs on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. There is a lot of food now easily available to these birds.
I don’t know how much longer the water will support waders, but I sure was glad to be there and spot these beautiful birds! I took these pictures just at twilight and the light was golden. The birds were at the far side of the pond that evening, which is a big difference from the scene a few days ago (part 1). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photograph. Enjoy!
Anhingas are wonderful large birds that almost look as if they are living dinosaurs. They closely resemble the Cormorants. They are water birds and also are quite at home sunning themselves in trees here in Florida. The Anhingas eat small aquatic animals, and larger insects.
I took these pictures of several Anhingas while gliding through the oh-so-beautiful and tropical wonderland that is the Dora Canal. The Dora Canal is just off of Lake Eustis in Central Florida. I highly recommend that if you are in this area, you take a boat tour through this short canal. There are commercial tours, and boat rentals. I went as a guest on my friend’s boat.
Most of the canal is in a natural state but dotted here and there, are a few mobile home resorts along the shore. This canal has Alligators, Herons, Egrets, Anhingas, Osprey, Moorhens, Turtles, and several other species of wildlife. There is a lot of tropical foliage and beautiful, towering Cypress Trees. The photo of the row of Cypress Tree trunks may have been taken en-route to the Dora Canal. I took these pictures from the water while seated in an open top pontoon boat. The pictures were taken on Friday, April 25, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
These Osprey were spotted just above the pontoon boat that I was a passenger in while sailing along the Dora Canal in Central Florida near Lake Eustis. These birds of prey are also known as Seahawks or Sea Eagles. They are common birds along rivers, fresh and salt marshes and along the sea coasts. Inland they also frequently live around larger lakes. They hunt for fish, ducks, coots, turtles, very small alligators and sometimes rodents and small birds.
I was quite amazed to see these two birds up close. Each was on a stout branch of trees overhanging the water of the canal. Both were eating some sort of meal – clearly one ate a fish. I also saw a few other Ospreys circling above the Dead River. I think that some of the Osprey on the Dead River were hoping for a fine meal (gasp!) of Wood Duck duckling. I took these pictures while out boating on April 25, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!