A flock of Cattle Egrets were spotted on the grassy banks of the ponds at the Souliere Villas in The Villages, Florida a few days ago. This area has recently been developed and there are still several open fields there. The area is also pretty close to small horse farms, too. Cattle Egrets are usually found near horse or cattle pastures as they dine on insects attracted by the livestock.
These are medium-sized white-colored egrets that have a distinctive mustard yellow streak on their back near the neck and head. They also have a yellow bill. This flock was lounging and roosting among the scrubby low trees on the edge of the two man-made water retention ponds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Young Adult White Ibis
White Ibis have been occasionally strolling around the neighborhood looking for tasty bites in the lawns and gardens here. Our weather has been rainy with nearly daily thunderstorms happening in the afternoon hours. I have not been out and about much both due to the weather and my husband being ill.
I did go out yesterday to the neighborhood lake and saw a pair of Muscovy Ducks paddling around which is not a usual sight on our lake. I also saw a Great Egret in the distance on the far shoreline. Not much to report due to weather and nesting season underway for many of the birds, not to mention, molting going on for many birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Egrets abound here in The Villages and in Central Florida around ponds, lakes, streams and marshlands. Great Egrets sometimes do hunt in landscaped areas near homes and businesses as they will eat snakes mice and lizards if hungry. We mostly have Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and Cattle Egrets here in Central Florida. I have included a photo of a white-phase Little Blue Heron which is very similar to the Snowy Egret.
The Cattle Egret is primarily found near cattle or horse pasture lands but also sometimes can be found near lakes and ponds where it drinks and sometimes hunts along the shore.
I have only seen one Reddish Egret here and that was near Dunellon about four years ago. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly smaller version of the photo. Enjoy!
White phase Little Blue Heron
In memory of those who died in the service of the country. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
Adult White Ibis
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Adult White Ibis
Juvenile and Adult White Ibis
Great Blue Herons are now beginning to raise young and are molting (losing breeding feathers) so they are mostly on their nests unless hunting for a meal. They wade in shallow water in the early morning and late afternoon to catch fish, frogs, ducklings, shoreline snakes, lizards, and nearly anything else they can catch to eat.
We have a year-around population of Great Blue Herons here in The Villages, Florida. These birds nest in colonies way up in sturdy Oaks and Pines near ponds or lakes. Many are now proud parents and will be raising chicks for several more weeks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Red Winged Black Birds are commonly seen here in freshwater marshes such as the one at the lovely Sharon Wiechens Nature Preserve in The Villages, Florida. These smaller birds flit from reed to reed and flower to flower in search of tasty insects for their meal. The males are black with the gold and red bars on their wings. The females are a streaky brown color. The males have a buzzy call which is pretty distinctive. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!