Whistlers as these ducks are also known, are charming and beautiful wild ducks. They have a blue bill and feet as ducklings which turn a vivid pink as adults. Black Bellied Whistling ducks are a rich cinnamon brown with black and white feather accents. They actually don’t quack but do emit a whistle sound to communicate.
These whistling ducks sit on the grassy shoreline quite a bit but do venture into the water from time to time and tip down into the shallow water to hunt for aquatic worms, insects, snails and aquatic plants. They also eat seeds, grasses, fruits and terrestrial insects snails and worms they can find fairly close to the water’s edge. Black Bellied Whistling ducks are both migratory and native here in Florida. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Sandhill Cranes are resident and migratory birds here in The Villages, FL. It is not uncommon to see these large birds around the edges of golf courses, especially those near marshes. Sandhill Cranes often eat grass, seeds, insects, worms, snails and prefer the cut apron areas of fairways. Occasionally the cranes can be seen on people’s front or backyard lawns! We do not fence most lots here. By the way, the photo of the cranes in flight was actually taken at Paynes Prairie overlook on Highway 441 near Gainesville, FL.
These are various photographs I have taken here in the past months of the Sandhill Cranes. Please click on the thumbnail images to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
Here are several Little Blue Herons I have photographed here in Central Florida with most being here in The Villages. The juveniles are the white phase of their coloring and they turn a purple blue as an adult. The Little Blue Herons are wading birds and they eat fish, frogs, small turtles, aquatic snails, and larger aquatic insects. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Southern Bald Eagles are resident here in The Villages, FL. This family were spotted at the Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course on the electric towers near the Mulberry Dog Park. The parent eagles and one of the two eaglets of this family were perched on three different towers when I recently was out bird watching. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Wishing everyone a happy St. Patrick’s Day! Enjoy!
This Red-shouldered Hawk has recently moved into my neighborhood. Transitory flocks of Cedar Waxwings are here feasting on the last of the Holly Berries, so it may be having many smaller birds nearby is what attracted this hawk to the neighborhood. There also will soon be new ducklings at our neighborhood park lake. Our neighborhood has many large trees which also suits the hawks.
This hawk was photographed on the front lawn of a home, and was looking at and consuming a very small bit of prey – likely a small mouse. These birds of prey are carnivorous and hunt for small rodents, snakes, lizards, songbirds, ducklings, and eggs. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
An American Alligator, a Pied-billed Grebe, White Ibis, a couple of Anhinga birds, a Tri-colored Heron, a couple of Great Blue Herons were spotted in The Villages, Florida last week on Monday, October 15, 2018. I saw most of these birds at the Freedom Point Lakes on Morse Blvd. I spotted the Alligator I call “Hacienda Harry”, and the Anhinga in the tree, at the Hacienda Golf Course Pond on the multi-modal trail. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
Hacienda Harry the Alligator
Wood Storks, White Ibis, Snowy Egrets, and a Common Moorhen were spotted at the Glenview Country Club’s front decorative ponds on Morse Blvd. near El Camino Real, here in The Villages, Florida several days ago.
This pond is a small one and is frequented usually by ducks. People walk their dogs along the shoreline and often will give the birds a hand-out or two. At times, other water birds join the fun. I believe there also are aquatic snails, aquatic insects, small fish, small frogs and occasionally, small turtles in the twin ponds there. There also is plenty of shade as the trees line one side of the pond. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!