This small flock of Hooded Merganser Ducks arrived at Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL, earlier last week. These are migrating ducks who are late Fall and Winter visitors to Florida. The male or drake duck is the more colorful of the pair. These ducks have a fold or hood of skin and feathers that the bird raises if alarmed or aroused. That is why the ducks are named the way they are.
Hooded Mergansers are diving ducks that eat fish, frogs, larger tadpoles, baby alligators and larger aquatic insects. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Mottled Ducks and Mallard Ducks were all spotted at Lake Paradise near Schwartz Park and Boone Park yesterday at dusk (about 5:15pm). I am starting to see more ducks each week here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Wood Storks have been here in The Villages, FL pretty much all year. These are among several of my favorite photographs of the Wood Storks. These birds are not much on looks but are easy-going big exotic wading birds. I enjoy seeing these birds quite a lot! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
This Eastern Blue Jay was spotted on the lawn at Paradise Park in The Villages, Florida a few days ago. I am thrilled to photograph the little birds as it seems all I ever do is take pictures of the larger exotic birds.
This Blue Jay is the more commonly seen blue jay here in Florida. The other blue jay is the Florida Scrub Jay which is smaller and has a lot more of the blue and only a bit of white/grey. The Scrub Jay is quite rare here now. Both jays love nuts seeds and insects! This one seems to have successfully hunted that morning and had a full belly.
The Mourning Doves were spotted on Sunday at the freshwater marsh where I spotted a lot of egrets and ducks. The doves were perching on the fencing and were not bothered by my presence in any way. These doves seemed to be very calm birds.
I enjoy being in the parks here and taking pictures of the various birds. Always something to see on the lawns, in the trees, marsh preserves and of course, on the lakes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
This pair of Florida Southern Bald Eagles is one that I have photographed several times in the past year. These eagles frequently perch on the top of the high tension electric towers on Enrique Drive near the El Santiago golf course here in The Villages, FL. This pair is one of several pairs of the Southern Bald Eagles that are resident all year-long, here in The Villages.
I took these pictures last Saturday late in the afternoon. It was a much cooler day than it has recently been here so the eagles probably did not mind perching on the metal much at all. I expect that the eagles only perch on the towers during cooler times of the day.
These eagles hunt for fish, mice, rats, small ducks, coots, squirrels, smaller rabbits, and snakes among other kinds of animals. The perch is high enough to give the eagles lots of views of the surrounding field and golf course area, in addition to neighborhood shrubbery. I am always thrilled to spot the Bald Eagles! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
I spotted this Limpkin at the shoreline of Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL on Saturday evening at dusk. The Limpkin is a wading bird that is unique as it is not related to the other types of wading birds although it does resemble the rails and the bittern (and even juvenile Green Herons). These birds primarily eat aquatic snails with Apple Snails being preferred. This is the first Limpkin I have seen at Lake Paradise but I had seen one on the nearby Lake Miramar just across the highway, several months ago on three occasions.
Limpkin are mostly active at night and are very shy. This particular bird was standing on a concrete culvert on the immediate shoreline about twenty feet from the multi-modal (golf carts, bicycles and pedestrians) pathway leading to the Silver Lake Village neighborhood. I am thrilled to have seen the bird and photographed it. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This Little Blue Heron was spotted at a small pond near Morse and CR-466 in The Villages, FL. I also saw two Tri-colored Herons on Lake Paradise also in The Villages. Both types of these herons are occasionally seen here in The Villages on several lakes and ponds here. I believe the Little Blue Heron is one that probably lives in the medium-sized nearby Lake Sumter and the freshwater marshlands around that lake. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Tri-colored Heron with Great Egret
Little Blue Heron