Sandhill Cranes are found here in The Villages, FL, in several spots all year long. We have a native Southern Sandhill Crane population that mostly stays on or near golf courses or park areas near ponds. These large birds eat grasses, seeds, insects, aquatic plants, aquatic snails, and occasionally small fish or frogs.
We usually see the Sandhill Cranes in pairs or family units with parents and one or two offspring, called “Colts”. When traveling, the cranes will flock up and sometimes we will see ten or even twenty of the cranes here along the shore of our small lakes. I am always thrilled to see the Sandhill Cranes! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A pair of Sandhill Cranes and a Little Blue Heron were seen at two ponds here in The Villages, Florida last week. I saw the cranes on the shore of the small pond near Live Oaks Park on Morse Blvd. near CR 466, and the Little Blue Heron was at Freedom Pointe Lakes (The larger lake). By the way, it has been very windy on several days here so a bit of blown-in trash is evident in the pictures. Most of our shorelines are very clean here and this is a rare occurrence.
Both of these are wading birds that eat fish, frogs, aquatic snails, larger aquatic insects, small shoreline snakes, baby waterfowl, and baby Alligators. The cranes also will eat grains and seeds. I love seeing these beautiful big birds here! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Little Blue Heron
Cattle Egrets and a Juvenile White Ibis
Great Egrets, and Roseate Spoonbill
White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorants, Wood Stork, Ring Billed Gulls
Wading birds are often here in big flocks at times during the Winter months. Some flocks stay over the season but others are here a day to rest and eat and then off they go.
We have big flocks of Cattle Egrets; Glossy Ibis; Double-crested Cormorants; Ring-billed Gulls; White Ibis; Snowy and Great Egrets; and American White Pelicans. Sometimes we will have groups of Wood Storks and Sandhill Cranes but generally, these big birds are in small flocks of six to eight. Most of the Wood Storks branch out to separate ponds where only one to four are present. The Sandhill Cranes are most often seen in large grassy areas such as on the edges of golf courses.
It is so much fun to get out and do some bird watching! By the way, the big flock of White Pelicans has returned to the Freedom Pointe Lake here in The Villages. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
American White Pelicans
Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, American White Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants
Drake Hooded Merganser Duck
Tai-Colored Herons, Wood Storks, Hooded Merganser Ducks, Sandhill Cranes, White Ibis, Double-Crested Cormorants, Anhingas, and many more large exotic birds are seen here in The Villages, Florida on and in our many ponds and small lakes. It also is not unusual to see a Great Egret strolling through the shrubbery on street parkways.
There are always many varieties of large and small birds around this community and its many neighborhoods to observe! It is such a pleasant hobby to go out bird watching! I am sure many of the readers here will agree! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo! Enjoy!
Anhinga Drying its Wings
A Great Egret hunting in the bushes along the multi-modal cart path, for snakes lizards and mice; and a Sandhill Crane browsing on the grass at the side of the multi-modal golf cart path here in The Villages.
The egret was near the Hacienda Golf Course and the crane was near CR466 and Morse Blvd. It is pretty unusual to see the Sandhill Cranes so close to the paths and people! I took these pictures on Tuesday Jan. 6, 2019. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Six Sandhill Cranes were spotted on Dec. 28, 2018, on Buena Vista Blvd. near the designated fishing pond here in The Villages, Florida. The cranes were in an area South of the fishing pond that seems to be a series of rainfall retention basins that were chock-full of water.
Some of the cranes started calling for their flock-mates. The majestic big birds raised their heads, opened their bills and called. This call is a very loud soprano trill that can be heard quite a long way off.
The Sandhill Cranes that are our all year-around flock, generally are seen in tiny family groups of two to four. These birds love to browse on tender grassy areas. They eat grains, seeds, grasses, and insects. I always love seeing these birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the particular photo. Enjoy! Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year in 2019!