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Posts tagged ‘Migratory Waterfowl’

Wood Ducks at Tuscawilla Park

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Wood Ducks were spotted at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, Florida on Tuesday, January 4, 2017.  I had an errand in Ocala so we decided to check on what was going on wildlife-wise at Tuscawilla.  Mostly ducks, cormorants, ibis, and a few Wood Storks.  No pelicans or herons at all on that occasion.

The Wood Ducks are especially beautiful.  Notice that one of the hens is very light in color.  I may have photographed this leucastic hen two years ago there.  The leucastic color is just a faded color on the feathers and is a rare condition, probably a genetic mutation.

Wood Ducks eat fish, crayfish, frogs, tender small turtles, and aquatic insects for the most part.  Occasionally they will also eat grains and fruit.  They nest up perhaps ten feet or more in trees where the ducklings glide out onto the ground as pretty-much new hatchlings.  That always amazes me.  The nests are usually in hollowed out spaces in trees or in specially made “Duck boxes” on posts on the immediate shore or in the water on poles.

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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Pelicans, Kingfisher, Geese, & Duck

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A Belted Kingfisher, White Pelicans, Sea Gulls, Muscovy Ducks, and Canada Geese were all spotted on Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL,  on January 7, 2017.  This little neighborhood lake has a few more inches of water in it since we got a good soaking rain yesterday and the night before last.  I am so very glad!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday’s Whistlers

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Just some random photographs I took in December of the many Black-bellied Whistling Ducks on Lake Paradise, here in The Villages, FL.  I am happy to report that we did get a little rain last night which will certainly be welcome as we have been in a drought.

Lake Paradise, a local park lake, is rapidly drying up and the views from Boone and Swartz Park are mostly of mud flat lake bottom now.  The main part of our lake still has water but fewer birds (lots of fish have been eaten by pelicans, herons, egrets, ducks, cormorants and sea gulls).  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photograph.  Enjoy!

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Just Ducky!

Mallard Ducks (males)

Mallard Ducks (males)

Mallards, Black-bellied Whistlers, Ring-necked Ducks and Hooded Mergansers were all visitors here at the little Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL this last two weeks.  I took most of the pictures on December 11, 2016.

The Ring-necked Ducks and Hooded Mergansers are both diving ducks that eat fish, frogs, turtles, and larger aquatic insects.

The Whistlers and Mallards (also those Mottled Ducks around) eat both fish and plants.  They are tipping ducks that are most often seen with their tails up and heads down in the water when feeding in the water.  Mallards (and Mottled Ducks) and The Whistling Ducks seldom totally submerge.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers

Whistlers

Whistlers

Ring-necked Ducks

Ring-necked Ducks

 

Hooded Mergansers on a Small Pond

Male (Drake) Hooded Merganser Ducks

Male (Drake) Hooded Merganser Ducks

A few days ago I spotted a small flock of maybe twenty Hooded Merganser Ducks plus a few hen Ring Necked Ducks paddling around a tiny pond here in my community.  The pond is located in front of the Plaza Grande shopping center at Spanish Springs and is between Highway 27/441 and the frontage road (near all the fast food restaurants).

These Hooded Mergansers eat fish, frogs, small turtles and larger aquatic insects.  They dive for their prey.  They use their long slightly pointed bill to help catch their meal.  Hooded Merganser drakes raise the feather hood on their head to signal alerts of danger or an unusual circumstance.  The hens are almost all a rich brown color with a tuft mohawk of feathers on the top of their head.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Hooded Merganser Ducks

Hooded Merganser Ducks

Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers and hen Ring-Necked Ducks

Hooded Mergansers and hen Ring-Necked Ducks

A Lake-shore Feeding Frenzy!

 

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Wood Storks; a Great Blue Heron; Great Egrets; Snowy Egrets; Double-crested Cormorants; Pied-billed Grebes; a Little Blue Heron and a small flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were all vying for a meal of tasty fish, tadpoles, frogs, small turtles; or larger aquatic insects in the lovely little Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL on Sunday, October 23, 2016.

This is quite an unusual sight to find so many varieties and numbers of wading birds all in one spot.  Most of these birds are migrating and are just stopping over to rest in the small welcoming lake.

In these feeding frenzies, I have seen it be common for the herons, egrets, and storks to follow what is happening with the cormorants in the water.  By the way, later in the day, I also saw a Tri-colored Heron at Swartz Park.

I took these pictures from Paradise Park and Swartz Park on the small private residential lake.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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Pied-billed Grebes

Pied-billed Grebes

Wood Storks, Snowy Egret

Wood Storks, Snowy Egret

The Frenzy!

The Frenzy!

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Ducks

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These Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, and  Florida Mottled Ducks  (Mallard Ducks with a few White Ibises were also in the crowd) were photographed yesterday at Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture.  Enjoy!

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