A Pair of Common Moorhens
Both the Common Moorhens and the Common Coots are here in The Villages, FL during the winter months. We also have moorhens here all year long but do have many more around in the winter.
Common Moorhens show different coloring between the genders while mostly the coots are just a charcoal black. Moorhen drakes are also charcoal while the hens are a brown color. Moorhens have a fleshy red growth on their faces and the coots have a white growth. Both types are members of the Rail family of water birds. Both look like a cross between a chicken and a duck. Moorhens and coots live in marshes, lakes, ponds, and slow streams. The coots and moorhens are good at flight. The coots form “Rafts” which are huge numbers of birds paddling together on a body of water. Coots are more flock birds while the Moorhens are often in pairs or small groups. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A Raft of Common Coots
Hooded Merganser Ducks at Lake Mira-mar
Great Egrets; White Pelicans; Snowy Egrets; Wood Storks; Pied-billed Grebes; Hooded Mergansers; Lesser Scaup Ducks; Mallard Ducks; Black-bellied Whistling Ducks; Great Blue Herons; Seagulls; Common Coots; Moorhens; Double-crested Cormorants; Egyptian Geese; Canada Geese; White Ibis; Florida Mottled Ducks; Little Blue Herons, Anhingas; and to a lesser extent Sandhill Cranes; Glossy Ibis; and Limpkins, all are currently to be seen here in The Villages, FL on lakes, ponds, and park-like lawns.
Of course, I am only showing just a few here on today’s post. It is such fun to see the big birds en-mass, at various times. By the way, the roost area on Morse Ave. near Rio Grande that had been abandoned for about a year, is back to being used by at least the White Ibises and a few egrets! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Pied-billed Grebe at Lake Mira-mar
Snowy Egrets, Seagulls, Pelican, Wood Stork, all at Freedom Pointe Lake
A feisty Eastern Blue Jay, A Palm Warbler, an Eastern Bluebird, and a House Sparrow were all spotted here in my neighborhood and community last week. I took these pictures early in the morning when it is probably the best time to see many birds out feeding.
There was a large flock of the warblers mixed-in with the sparrows visiting my street. Both types of birds eat on the ground browsing for seeds in the lawns. The Blue Jay was spotted at the Freedom Pointe lakeshore parking lot up in a big Live Oak. The bluebird is seen from time to time on a neighbors roof. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Eastern Blue Jay
Juvenile Little Blue Heron
I have been to Mexico and Belize on a one week cruise last week. I only took pictures while in Belize for a single day, and enjoyed a couple hours on the Belize River while en-route to the Mayan ruins at Altun-ha. On the river we saw about 10 Little Blue Herons in different spots; a few black Howler Monkeys; several Iguanas (males are orange), two Crocodiles; a Yellow-crowned Night Heron and a few tropical song-birds.
It was really interesting to see all the exotic and familiar (Little Blue Herons) wildlife there. I hope to return to Belize some day. It is a lovely place with interesting friendly folks! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Tropical Songbird seen at Altun-ha Mayan ruins (Couch’s Kingbird?)
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Young Howler Monkeys
A Double-crested Cormorant
White Ibis, Mallard Duck, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, a Double Crested Cormorant, A Snowy Egret, Sandhill Cranes, and a Little Blue Heron were all photographed while in flight. All were moving from place to place here in Central Florida in The Villages and in the Ocala area. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A Hen Mallard Duck
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
A Snowy Egret
A Little Blue Heron
Great and Snowy Egrets and Mallard Ducks
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and several other kinds of wading birds and water birds were all spotted at a large freshwater marsh/rainfall retention area that is a nature preserve here in The Villages, FL community. This bird spot is located on Buena Vista Blvd. just South of the Lake Miona Recreation Center and the Bass Fishing Pond on that same street.
There were perhaps fifty egrets there with additional Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, White Ibis, and Mottled Ducks, Mallard Ducks and the ever popular Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (including many juvenile whistlers)! A truly nice gathering of birds to observe. I took these pictures yesterday morning from the grassy area off of the multi-modal path near a nicely placed bench. I of course used my long lens as the birds were quite a distance away. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly smaller version of the photo. Enjoy!
Egrets and Florida Mottled Ducks
Egrets in the Preserve
Great Egret and Mottle Ducks
Great Egrets with Florida Mottled Ducks, a Wood Stork, and a small Tri-colored Heron were spotted here in The Villages, FL on a couple of lakes and small ponds. We have a number of wading bird species that are all-year around resident birds here. The community has many ponds and small lakes in addition to a few fresh water marshes and preserves. There is plenty of food between the water and the many areas of landscaping along the streets and parking lots. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret and Wood Stork
Great Egret, Try-colored Heron and Mottled Duck