Sholom Park in Ocala is such a very beautiful place! It is very serene. That is the purpose of this gorgeous park which is designed for strolling and reflection. It is not a sports or picnic type of place. It is open to the public and is mainly used by the folks from the adjacent On Top of The World development along with those from the Del Webb development. It is open during the day and is free of charge.
While my hubby and I were at the park on Monday, I spotted a male Northern Cardinal bird and a Red-shouldered Hawk. No sign of any owls or Great Blue Herons at all. No sign of the former Great Blue Heron rookery. I think over the past couple of years, stormy weather has taken its toll on the great trees where these wading birds and owls had previously nested. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the image. Enjoy!
I am dedicating this blog post in memory of my late friend Donna who passed away on Easter in California. She will greatly be missed.
Hen Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinals, House Finches and a couple of Mourning Doves were all partying at my neighbor’s patio bird feeder a few days ago. We are seeing more and more migratory songbirds here so I am happy when I am able to get pictures of a group of these birds. I took these pictures on Sunday, October 16, 2016. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
House Finches, Mourning Dove, Male Northern Cardinal
House Finches, Hen Northern Cardinal
The Northern Cardinals are seed-eaters and also occasionally enjoy nuts, and berries or fruit. Sunflower seeds are considered prime treats for Northern Cardinals. They also like suet a little bit – especially the suet with apples or other fruits embedded within the cake. These beautiful songbirds often will come to bird feeders. They seem to also hunt on lawns quite often. These birds especially enjoy perching in lower branches or in large shrubbery.
The hen is a rusty brown in color while the male is bright red. The juvenile male looks quite similar to the female adult. The cardinals often will be seen in small flock family groups where there will be two males and two or three hens. Occasionally the extra males will just be eager suitors.
I took the pictures of the Cardinals on Thursday morning, October 6, 2016. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Male Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinals, House Finches, a Carolina Chickadee, a few Mourning Doves and a Tufted Titmouse were all spotted here on my street in the last few days in addition to the small flock of Downy Woodpeckers. I took all of these pictures last week. The birds are enjoying several nice bird feeders as well as the abundant insects in the shrubbery and Oaks.
We have been having nearly daily rain also so there is plenty of water, as well as food for the birds. Pretty soon, we will also be seeing many more migrating birds. I can’t wait! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Female House Finches with Juvenile Northern Cardinal
Probably a hen Northern Cardinal but perhaps a juvenile male
A family of Northern Cardinal birds has made its home in the shrubbery along my street here recently. The neighbor’s bird feeder and bird bath are big draws for a lot of songbirds now. It has been hot and stormy so the birds like to grab a snack and cool off in that inviting bird bath water.
The cardinals eat seeds and sometimes enjoy an insect or two but mostly are seed and nut eating birds. A more distant neighbor on the next street over has a small flower garden with a couple of Sunflowers that are now blooming. The birds are really going to go wild over that! So many lovely little songbirds now. I am enjoying getting to do some bird watching in between thunderstorms! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that particular photo. Enjoy!
Male Northern Cardinal
Male Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal Male
Northern Cardinal – likely a hen but possibly a juvenile male
Northern Cardinal Juvenile Male
Cedar Waxwings, Boat-tailed Grackles, Northern Cardinals, and of course, White Ibises all have visited along the street here where I live in recent weeks. It is always surprising to see which bird (and squirrel) is around! The Grey Squirrels are usually well-behaved but on occasion, they do walk gingerly across my front screened porch screening. No holes and that is a status I hope continues.
The Ibises are gentle and unfortunately easily frightened when grazing on lawns (not so when begging at the local park lakes). Occasionally we also have Eastern Blue Jays, Carolina Wrens, Northern Mockingbirds, and Palm Warblers around but they are pretty rarely seen (same for Bluebirds, Crows, and hawks or vultures). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Northern Cardinals (likely juvenile males)
That gigantic flock of Cedar Waxwings returned a few days ago to the large Juniper Tree here on my street. This time the flock returned to ripe or over ripe berries festooning the branches of the tree. Because these berries do ferment when overly ripe, the birds can sometimes get intoxicated from ingesting them! Lots of really big loop de loops in the skies. I believe the birds came out OK though and did not get harmed by this.
I also noticed a family of Northern Cardinals across the way on the roof of a home here. I also noticed a Carolina Wren and probably what was a Palm Warbler near the Northern Cardinal.
Some of the homes are seasonal and this one has not had proper maintenance as evidenced by the saplings growing in the rain gutter. It is not uncommon in Florida to see this when the gutters get clogged with leaves and wind or birds drop seeds on the roof. The birds were hunting for insects and also seeds on the roof. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!