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Posts tagged ‘marshes’

Juvenile & Adult Little Blue Herons

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Adult Little Blue Heron

 

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

The juvenile Little Blue Heron is all white until nearly an adult.  Once and adult, the bird has purple-blue feathers, a grey-blue bill, and yellow-green legs and feet.  These are called herons but are actually members of the egret family of wading birds.

Juvenile Little Blue Herons closely resemble the Snowy Egret, but the difference is in the color of the bill and a lack of yellow just above the bill.  Snowy Egrets have a black bill.  Snowy Egrets also have mustard yellow-colored feet.  I took these photos here in The Villages, FL.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

 

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Snowy Egret

Adult Little Blue Heron

 

 

Older Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Snowy Egret

Adult Little Blue Heron

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

For this “Almost wordless Wednesday”, I am showing a few  photographs of wildlife and scenic views around some of the natural areas here in The Villages, FL.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo.  Enjoy!  Wishing all who celebrate, a most pleasant Thanksgiving.  I am grateful for my blog friends who have been so kind over the nearly decade this blog has been on the Internet.  Many thanks!

 

 

Ibis, Herons, and ‘Gators

Alligators are fairly common here in Florida. Recently, I spotted Alligators in two places – a very small one in the shallows of Cherry Lake at Live Oaks Park in The Villages and an adult at what is known as “Fishing Pond” here in The Villages on Morse Blvd.

I also saw a small flock of White Ibis and a Little Blue Heron there at the Fishing Pond next to that ‘gator.  Additionally, I usually see a Great Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe Lake.  I was not disappointed.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

 

Some of the More Unusual Birds That Have Visited Us

Limpkin

Roseate Spoonbills, Sandhill Cranes, Wood Storks, Limpkins, a Black Crowned Night Heron, Egyptian Geese, White-phase Little Blue Herons,  and Green Herons have all been photographed in freshwater marshes (sometimes referred to as “Prairies”), ponds, and small lakes here in or near The Villages, Florida.  I love seeing these birds!

The Roseate Spoonbill (only seen here once in the four years I have lived here, the Black-crowned and White Little Blue Heron have to be the most seldom seen here of all of the above mentioned wading birds.  The most common are the Wood Storks and Sandhill Cranes among the ones I am featuring today.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Egyptian Geese

White Phase Little Blue Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

 

 

Roseate Spoonbill with Great Egrets

 

Wood Storks

Green Heron

Sandhill Cranes

Coots, Common Gallinules “Moorhens”, and Purple Gallinules

Purple Gallinule

Coots, Common Moorhens, and Purple Gallinules are seen in The Villages, FL on occasion and mostly in the shallow marshes or prairies.  I often spot these birds at the Sharon Rose Wiechens Nature Preserve.  The Coots are migratory and usually seen in the Winter here and are often on Lake Sumter in large numbers.  The Moorhens and Purple Gallinules are year around resident birds with the Moorhens being a lot more commonly seen (pardon the pun).

The Coots are a charcoal black with a white face for both of the sexes.  The Purple Gallinules are a vivid blue and purple with a yellow blue and red bill.  The Common Gallinule or Moorhen, resembles the coot but has a red face and the females are brown with the red face.  The Coots, Common Moorhens and Purple Gallinules all are Rails.  These birds have a loud cry when alarmed and also sound a bit like a chicken clucking when in their normal communication mode.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.

Purple Gallinule

Male Common Moorhen or Common Gallinule

Hen Common Gallinule or Moorhen

 

Coot

Coots with a Moorhen

Coots

Egrets in Central Florida

Great Egret

Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Cattle Egrets are the three types of egrets that are commonly seen here in Central Florida.  The largest is the Great Egret.  The smallest is the Snowy Egret with the Cattle Egret being the chunky middle-sized one of the three.  There is a Reddish Egret that is rarely seen and I have only once gotten a photo of that egret.  That Reddish Egret looks like a magenta version of the Little Blue Heron.  The smaller herons are actually egrets so it is no wonder they all have similar characteristics.

The Great Egret is one that sometimes goes away from the water to forage in shrubbery for snakes and lizards, mice and larger insects to eat.  The Cattle Egret likes to walk around pastures where horses or cattle are present.  You also occasionally see Cattle Egrets at ponds and lakes where they will drink and occasionally hunt.  The Snowy Egret has yellow legs and feet and a slender black bill and is mostly seen on the shore or in shallow water of ponds and lakes and marshes.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Cattle Egret

Snowy Egret

Great Egret

Great Blue, Little Blue, & Tri-Colored Herons

Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron is the most commonly seen of the herons here in The Villages, Florida.  I also frequently can spot Little Blue Herons and occasionally see the gorgeous medium-sized Trim-colored Heron.  I very rarely see a Green Heron, and have not seen any Black or Yellow Crowned Night Herons here in this community.

The herons all fish for fish, frogs, baby alligators, aquatic snails, crayfish, and occasionally larger aquatic insects, snails, and worms.  These are wading birds that are primarily found on the immediate shoreline of ponds, streams, lakes and in the shallows of both fresh and salt water marshes.

All of these herons are great at flight and some flocks do migrate.  One generally only sees a single bird or just a small number of these herons in one spot unless the flock is  gathering for a migration or is resting during travels.  Our bird population swells in the Winter months here in Florida.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Little Blue Heron

Tri-Colored Heron

Little Blue Heron

 

 

 

Tri-Colored Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

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