American White Pelicans migrate South and visit our ponds and lakes here in The Villages, Florida every year in the Winter months (We do have about 10 White Pelicans that stay all year-long now). The two main places in the Northern end of The Villages to spot the pelicans are The Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course and Freedom Pointe Lakes.
Both Lopez Golf and Freedom Pointe lake locations have quite a few pelicans although sometimes pelicans do fly between these areas. Always a fun sight to see the young adult pelicans massed! Sometimes there are large groups of accompanying Double-crested Cormorants, too! I took these photographs last week here in The Villages. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
White Pelicans have been spotted on the Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course driving range pond; the Freedom Pointe Lake; and Lake Paradise here in The Villages, FL on February 24, 2019.
These are migratory water birds which often are accompanied by the Double-crested Cormorants which help the pelicans fish. The White Pelicans come to Florida in the Winter months and return to the Mid-West and other Western states the rest of the year. We did have about six birds stay over this past year. The breeding pelicans have a small disc on their bill while the older juveniles have the light pink bill.
Pelicans eat fish, frogs, snails, small turtles, small alligators and larger aquatic insects. They chase their prey and scoop it up into their big flexible bill pouch begin eating. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Egyptian Geese, and Canada Geese are the two types of geese seen commonly here in The Villages, FL. The Canada Geese are the larger population with some ponds seeing twenty or more individuals. There perhaps are about fifteen Egyptian Geese here as well.
Interestingly, there are a few hybrid Canada Geese around that are likely a mix of Greylag or Chinese White and Canada. These geese eat grass and some aquatic plants. The also love grains. We have a solid population of all of these geese here all year around. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Hybrid Canada Goose with Great Egret
There are four Great Blue Herons now roosting at the park here. I have blogged about the herons in this park before, and thought I’d check in on how they are doing. I took these pictures of the herons on their rookery or nest, last night at 6:00 (park closes at 7:00). It is an uncrowded time at the park.
I saw the three herons up in and around the stick nest up on a sturdy branch of a Long-leaf Pine Tree. The parent bird came and gave some food to the noisy older juveniles and then had to leave. There was a lot of commotion and noise from the juveniles who were clamoring for more food. I was amazed to see the parent bird fly over quite close by to where I was at and calmly start to fish a bit in the decorative park pond (no Koi now – just mosquito fish and a few turtles). So all is well with this family of Great Blue Herons. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy! Have a safe and very happy holiday weekend!