This pair of Egyptian Geese was spotted up on the shoreline of the Freedom Pointe Lake in The Villages near the parking lot area beside the assisted living housing complex building.
The Egyptian Geese are native to Africa and were brought here to the USA to be golf course pets in some spots (they migrated here to the Villages from elsewhere). These geese are part shell-duck and part goose. They are attractive birds.
Egyptian Geese now are resident waterfowl here in The Villages but are not in big numbers here. They eat grasses grains and seeds and behave in a similar manner to the Canada Geese. These geese are rust colored with cream and black and are between a duck and a goose in size. The Egyptian Geese seem quite shy. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy! P.S. I have not seen that Roseate Spoonbill here since my Sunday morning sighting.
Wood Storks have been here in The Villages, FL, for about a month in larger numbers. A few days ago, I spotted seven of the large white and black birds at Lake Paradise. The big birds mostly are seen standing still or in flight. This is the second instance where I have seen Wood Storks laying on the ground resting. I noted that this behavior is similar to that seen in the White Ibis. I found it interesting.
The Wood Storks mostly fish by putting their large hard scoop-like bill into the mud and sucking in snails, larger insects, worms, tadpoles, frogs and small fish. I have read that some Wood Storks travel miles and miles from their tree roost to search for food. Amazing! I really enjoy seeing these birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Whistling Ducks, and Mallard Ducks were both spotted here in The Villages, FL this past Sunday. I was happy to see the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at the marsh where I also had spotted many egrets. I also saw the Mallards there. Lake Paradise has a bunch of Mottled Ducks and Mallard Ducks right now.
Later in the Winter, there will be a lot of other breeds of migrating ducks here on our many ponds and lakes. I so enjoy watching the ducks. By the way, most of this bunch of Whistlers were juveniles with their bluish-pink bills, legs and feet! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
These Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, or “Whistlers” were spotted here in The Villages, FL in a grassy area just coming out of a golf cart tunnel near Lake Sumter and Morse. I took the pictures at about 6:00pm last night. These are such cheery cute ducks that I always enjoy seeing them. The small flock was grazing on tasty insects as the grass had just recently been cut and it had rained a little earlier in the day. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Wood Storks are seen here in The Villages, FL every now and then. They fly together in small flocks and stay for several days. These larger wading birds eat grains, small fish, frogs, small tender turtles, small alligators, and aquatic snails.
We have had minor flooding here and I spotted a pair of these Wood Storks strolling down flooded Kim Street at Boone Park on Lake Paradise earlier this evening. The storks were accompanied by a Great Egret, a Little Blue Heron and several Mottled Ducks. The other stork was spotted in the parking lot at the flooded Lake Mira-mar in The Villages. I had to take several of the pictures from quite a distance because of the flooded Boone Park and Kim Street areas (the other bird, which was at Lake Mira-mar, was quite close to our golf cart). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Last week I spotted several Sandhill Cranes here in The Villages, FL along pond shorelines at Morse Blvd. and CR 466 (near Live Oak Park) and at the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course also along CR 466 near Laurel Manor Recreation Center.
These are native Florida Sandhill Cranes. I think we have many breeding pairs and small family groups around the area. The Sandhill Cranes especially like the fringes of golf courses near the ponds. Plenty of food and water and most golfers don’t mind the presence of the cranes since the cranes mostly are hanging out on the fringes of the courses near fences or under the trees. It is always a big pleasure to see these large lovely birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Happily, this female Eastern Bluebird decided my front yard Magnolia Tree was a great place to perch and rest the other day. We have been having very rainy weather recently after having experienced a long period of drought.
The Eastern Bluebird is a great insect hunter! I am glad to have these beautiful small songbirds around. They like just about any insect or worm they can find. By the way, this lovely bird really blended-in with the green and rust coloration of the Magnolia. Nature’s camouflage. The male Eastern Bluebird has a much brighter tone to its color. I did not see the male on this occasion. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!