Great Egret at right, Snowy Egret at left
Great Egrets are among the larger of the wading birds, while the Snowy Egret is a much smaller wading bird at about half the size of the Great Egret. The Great Egret has a bright yellow bill and black legs while the Snowy Egret has bright yellow feet, greenish-black coloring in the legs and a black bill. Both of these egrets are wading birds that eat fish, frogs, small tender turtles, aquatic snails and large aquatic insects and worms. The Great Egret also will eat shore-side mice, lizards, small snakes and larger insects.
Both of these birds are very beautiful big white birds! The Snowy Egret has stunningly beautiful plumage in breeding season, and is a real treat to see then. I took the picture in The Villages, FL on a local lake a few weeks ago. You really can see the difference in the size of both birds! Here in The Villages, in central Florida, we often have Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and the flocking Cattle Egrets. Only on occasion does one see the much rarer Reddish Egret (which closely resembles a lighter Little Blue Heron). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Great Egrets, Snowy Egret, Wood Storks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Water is all around us here in lovely Florida! I live in a county with many ponds and lakes. Our community has many man-made park lakes and ponds. Here are some of the beautiful big birds that visit the shores of these community lakes here in The Villages, Florida. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy.
Note: We will be having a hurricane (tropical cyclone or typhoon as it is called elsewhere) come by our state on Friday. I live right in the center of the peninsula about 60 miles from the coastline. If the weather is not terrible and we have power I will post as normal on Friday. If not, well, there is a great reason. I will let you know what happens around here (I do not expect it to be bad at all).
Our National Bird, The Bald Eagle
Here are some pictures that you may enjoy! Hooray for the Red, the White, and the Blue! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy! Have a safe and wonderful Independence Day!
Male Northern Cardinal
Eastern Blue Jay
This Snowy Egret was spotted on June 7, 2016. The pretty, medium-sized wading bird, was fishing for frogs, small fish, or insects, at a man-made stream in The Villages, FL just off the Spanish Springs town square area. The little stream runs behind the Sharon auditorium and empties into Lake Mira Mar.
I shot these pictures in the early evening and there was a young Tri-colored Heron only a few feet away. I was standing on a little bridge over the stream to take the pictures. Each bird was on a different side just near the bridge. I tried hard to be still and quiet so I would not disturb the birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Juvenile Alligator, Early March 2016
The area where this Walmart shopping center is located on CR 466 is generally called the “Buffalo Ridge” area near The Villages, FL. It is across the highway from the charter schools. There are two small ponds at the right side of the shopping area and I often visit these bodies of water to spot a variety of wildlife. By the way, the juvenile Alligator is now about four feet long! Alligators grow quickly and especially so when there is a lot of food in their environment.
I often see Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, a Little Blue Heron, Anhingas, Coots, Moorhens, and various ducks in the two ponds. This also is where I saw that big flock of Cattle Egrets a few weeks ago. The larger of the two ponds is directly at the side of the Walmart parking lot. That larger pond often has more going on as far as bird life. Always fun to see which big birds are around! By the way, I love love love, the pizza at NYPD Pizza, which is at the shoreline of the smaller of the two ponds! No, they have not given me any consideration for this unofficial review! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Male Red-winged Blackbird
Double Crested Cormorant
Juvenile Alligator, April 9, 2016
Egrets, Heron, Canada Geese
Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egrets, Great Egret
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, a Great Blue Heron, a “Great White Heron”, a Tri-colored Heron, a Little Blue Heron, some Canada Geese, and a few Double Crested Cormorants were all spotted yesterday afternoon at the quite more secluded end of our local park lake.
The Great White Heron is a subspecies of the more familiar Great Blue Heron and is mostly found here in Florida along the Gulf of Mexico coastline.
The difference between the Great Egret and the Great White Heron are slight. The Great Egret has a bright yellow bill and yellow flesh near its eyes. The Great White Heron has a greenish grey bill and green flesh near its eye. Otherwise, both are very similar in size, plumage, and color. The big waders are showing their breeding plumage which is very luxurious and full now. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret and Snow Egrets
Double Crested Cormorants
Little Blue Heron
Great White Heron in Breeding Plumage
Great Egret in Breeding Plumage
This Snowy Egret was not really looking for a real estate deal but likely was simply perched after being inquisitive about the contents of the bird house. I have seen a pair of Eastern Bluebirds in this house so I think something on the order of fast food was on the mind of that wader! Yikes! But, that is nature. It is a fun-looking picture, though! I took these pictures here at a little neighborhood lake on Jan. 6, 2016. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!