A Common Cormorant, several Cooter Turtles, a Little Blue Heron, many Cattle Egrets, Cattle, and the Good Year Blimp were all spotted on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at the Northwest Marion County horse farm/cattle pasture pond that I often go to for wildlife observation. I take my pictures from the roadway so I am especially glad to have the long zoom lens.
That blimp was the big surprise of the afternoon, along with the gorgeous Little Blue Heron! Please click on the thumbnail images to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
These really are called Cattle Egrets. I thought I would show these smaller of the egrets with both gorgeous horses and the more familiar cattle. I snapped these pictures from the fences of both a horse farm and a cattle ranch. Both the horse farm and that cattle ranch are in an area Northwest of Ocala, in Marion County, Florida.
I was amused at seeing Cattle Egrets paying attention to the horses. The egrets flew along as the horses ran around their very large pasture. These egrets eat grains and insects so following along with these large animals makes it possible for them to find an easy meal. As far as I could see, the larger animals did not seem to mind. No, the egrets are not parasitical, but they do take advantage of what is a natural situation. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Hundred of Cattle Egrets visited this area yesterday. The large white birds with yellow eyes and bill, and black feet, like to walk in grassy pastures. The flock was on the ground milling around near one of the golf courses that borders the huge next-door ranch here. I also saw Egrets in flight over some of the homes in the large development here where I live.
These Cattle Egrets are not yet in breeding colors and don’t have a faint orangish-brown color on the back of their head and neck and sometimes on their undersides. Cattle Egrets are a bit shorter than other Egrets such as the Snowy or Great Egrets.
The Cattle Egrets, following closely behind a herd of cattle. That is why Cattle Egrets have that particular name. They often eat insects found around and sometimes on the cattle.
This is the largest flock of Cattle Egrets I have seen! I took these pictures yesterday afternoon here in the development where I live in Marion County, Florida. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Because of the recent stormy weather in the Eastern-half of the United States, I have decided to post a few snapshots I feel are pretty. These pictures were taken in my yard a few days ago. The cattle belong to a neighbor who runs them in the large pasture across the pond. I urge those who are able to, to consider a donation to the hurricane disaster relief efforts of the American Red Cross for the Super Storm “Sandy” in the Eastern U.S.A. Thanks! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
We have a few small flocks of Crows here in the neighborhood. The Crows really do not hang out on this side of the little farm pond much. When the Crows do come on this side of the pond, they tend to hunt in the next door neighbor’s pasture. The Crows enjoy finding insects in pastures, and shrubbery. Crows also eat almost anything they can find whether animal, vegetable or fruit. They are quite inquisitive and intelligent. Crows are on the larger side of the medium-sized birds. They are solid black and have a stout bill. Their call is the famous “Caw-caw-caw”. I took these pictures on May 16, 2012 and also on May 19, 2012 in my yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
An Eastern Meadowlark visited here yesterday morning. As far as I can tell, this robin-sized songbird was a transitory visitor. What surprised me was the meadowlark was perched nearly all the way up in one of the large Oak trees that is next to the pond. It was a very rainy day so maybe the Eastern Meadowlark did not want to wade through all the water that was on the pastures here.
Eastern Meadowlark enjoy hunting for their insect died in grassy pastures and natural meadows. These birds are musical in their songs. The Eastern Meadowlark has a buff colored undersides that area streaked with a very dark brown. It has a bright yellow patch on its breast and throat with a v shaped black marking on the upper chest. The head is usually a pretty brown with yellow highlights and white streaks. This is the first Eastern Meadowlark I have seen here on the farm. Hopefully more of these beautiful birds will be around in the area. I took these pictures from my porch in the rain on January 11, 2012 in the late morning. The light was bad so I have used my photo-editing software to lighten up these pictures for a better look at the bird. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photograph. Enjoy!