A flock of White Pelicans
Northern Mockingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, and a fly-by of a flock of American White Pelicans were all spotted early this evening (March 16, 2018) here on my street in The Villages, FL.
The Northern Mockingbirds are residents of the neighborhood, while the Cedar Waxwings and White Pelicans are Winter visitors. The pelicans were headed North in a definite flock pattern. The Cedar Waxwings likely are on the way North but have stopped here to feed on berries. Many of the Holly Bushes and small Holly Trees are full of berries and there are also a lot of other small fruits in season here such as Loquats.
The Waxwings love various kinds of berries and sometimes get tipsy on fermented fruits and berries. I love the Winter visit here by the beautiful waxwings. The former Juniper across the street that was a favorite place to perch for the waxwings got cut down a few months ago so the birds are in a few trees here including the big Live Oak in my backyard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
I hear this Northern Mockingbird pretty often but only see the lively bird once in a while. This time the song I heard was an imitation of the Northern Cardinal.
It makes me laugh when the Mockingbird suddenly changes its singing and out of the open beak, comes the song of a totally different species of bird. Just like that, two or even three bird songs in a row. Talented!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I am posting early and probably will not post tomorrow. We will have a tropical storm or hopefully not, a hurricane around. I live in Central Florida on the very Southern edge of where this storm from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to pass over Florida. I do not expect trouble but our Internet service sometimes goes out in bad weather so I wanted to let you know why I am posting early.
I hope you will enjoy seeing this pair of Northern Mockingbirds that live here on my street and mostly in a nearby neighbor’s yard. For awhile, I had hoped they would nest in my bushes but alas they did not. The pair chose the neighbors shrubbery instead. These birds are clever mimics and here love to confuse the residents with their sweet sounds of Northern Cardinals, and even Palm Warblers. Ha! Both birds of this pair, also do enjoy perching on the corner street sign. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. As ever, enjoy! I doubt we will have a rough go during the storm. Everything should be just fine and I will post again on Wed. as usual.
A pair of Northern Mockingbirds has decided to build their new nest in one of the local shrubs. I love hearing the two sing! Such melodies they have. The two have been collecting grasses, sticks and soft tender plants to line the new nest. I think they will be laying eggs soon. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Male Eastern Bluebird
We went to what we thought was a Burrowing Owl Preserve here in our area a few days ago. We heard from a resident who lives next to the preserve, that due to the presence of Coyotes, the owls had left that large field preserve area a few years ago. I did spot a trio of songbirds and surprisingly, a small Black Racer Snake, which is non-poisonous.
The Eastern Bluebirds cheerfully sat on the wooden fence surrounding the large field that had been the home of the owls (supposedly now it is home to Gopher Tortoises which we did not see). After the Eastern Bluebirds left, a Northern Mockingbird took their place on the fence. I also spotted an Eastern Blue Jay in the trees next to the fence but there were too many leaves in the way of my shot to get a good picture. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Female Eastern Bluebird
The “Surprise”! A Black Racer Snake
A Northern Mockingbird
Male Northern Cardinal
A male Northern Cardinal, a young Eastern Blue Jay and a Northern Mockingbird all were spotted in my front yard yesterday afternoon. It was blazing hot and some of the birds are likely now starting to molt. At least that is the way they look to me.
Molting is when the birds change feathers from breeding to non-breeding colors. It is nature’s way of taking care of older feathers, which drop out and are replaced by fresh young ones. The birds do not feel very well during this time. It is especially hard now because of our hot rainy weather.
That Blue Jay is likely just a recently-fledged juvenile and is probably not in molt. The poor bird was really hot! I took these photographs on August 9, 2015 at about 4:30 PM Eastern Time. The temperature was about 91 degrees F. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Male Northern Cardinal
Older Juvenile Eastern Blue Jay
A Northern Mockingbird and a Mourning Dove were pretty much the birds I had been able to photograph in the last couple of days (I did see some Crows, too). The weather here has been very windy and cool. I also believe that many of the birds are nesting and possibly, molting (seasonally changing feathers).
I took these pictures yesterday in the afternoon here in our development. The Mourning Dove was standing on a decorative landscaping rock and periodically cooing, which is why in one picture, you see the bird’s throat puffed outward. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy! Have a very happy Easter!
A Lesser Yellowlegs
I took these pictures in and near my neighborhood in the last several days. I have enjoyed seeing a Lesser Yellowlegs shorebird, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, NorthernMockingbirds, and a few Eastern Bluebirds. It has been cooler and rainy here in Marion County, Florida this week so opportunities for bird watching have been limited. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Hooded Merganser Ducks
A pair of Eastern Bluebirds
A Northern Mockingbird
The Northern Mockingbirds have arrived here in recent weeks. Nature’s master mimics love to sing a huge number of convincing songs. These birds can learn the calls and songs of the birds around them. They are quite convincing and I have been fooled several times. The Mockingbirds are smaller mid-sized birds, that are nearly as large as the Blue Jays.
Mockingbirds eat insects, fruits, and nuts. They can be argumentative with other birds at times. I often see Mockingbirds up on the top of stop signs or light poles. They seem to like viewing the vicinity and scouting for other birds and for food. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
The Northern Mockingbirds were here in the yard last evening when I took these pictures. I have used photo-editing software to lighten the pictures up so you can really see what the mischief-making mockingbirds actually look like. Northern Mockingbirds are a light grey with darker grey, black, and white bars on their wings. They have a pointed bill and are on the smaller side of being a medium-sized bird.
The Northern Mockingbird is a master at fooling people and other critters with a strong and varied repertoire of bird calls and other noises that they have learned. They are master mimics. I got fooled yet again by this pair who were sounding very much like an American Robin (yes an American Robin had been around earlier). Both of the pair were singing and calling to each other so it was double confusion until I figured out the true identity of the birds making the calls. The Northern Mockingbird eats insects, fruits, and berries. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!