This Tri Colored Heron frequents the pond next to the Wal-Mart parking lot on CR 466 in Buffalo Ridge in The Villages, FL. I have probably photographed this bird before on a previous visit.
The Tri Colored Heron is a hunter of fish, frogs, small tender turtles, and also aquatic snails, worms, large insects, shoreline mice, lizards, and small snakes on shore. It spears the prey with its sharp stiff bill.
On this occasion, I saw the Tri Colored Heron, a few ducks including a lone drake Hooded Merganser, a Common Moorhen, and a pretty little Pied Billed Grebe. No alligators were spotted. I think the two small ‘gators I had seen a few months ago had been relocated. One thing I will add: If you do visit the pond, be aware that there are biting ants on the shore – I remembered and did not get any bites this last time there. In other words, watch not only for the ‘gators but for the ants! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!