Birds cool off by opening their beaks or bills to breathe cooler air into their system. So on a hot day or evening if you see a bird panting, they are just trying to keep cool. They also will often try to sit or perch in a shady spot or wade in a stream, pond or lake. I took these photos last night at dusk here in The Villages, Florida. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
Mottled Ducks, White Ibis, Trio-colored Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets, White Ibis and the grand Wood Storks are large white wading birds that have been here in The Villages in recent weeks. The Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and White Ibis are here all the time, but the Cattle Egrets are very occasional. The Wood Storks come and go every few weeks it seems. The other large white birds are the White Pelicans, which are here in the Winter and early Spring, the white phase of the Little Blue Heron, and the white Great Blue Herons.
The only ones of these listed that really are not truly wading birds, are the Cattle Egrets which prefer being in cattle or horse pastures along with the livestock. All of these birds are great flyers and the Wood Storks have been known for flying quite a long ways to find food. I believe many of the Ibis and egrets are now roosting on Lake Mira-mar near the Veteran’s Memorial Park end of the little lake (having probably moved from the now abandoned roosts on Morse Blvd. near Rio Grande). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
White Pelicans on Lake Paradise this past Spring
The Wood Storks, Great Egrets, White Ibis, Cattle Egrets, White Pelicans, and Snowy Egrets are all large white-colored wading birds/water birds . I did not add in the various white geese, swans, or ducks because I seldom see these birds here in The Villages, FL.
By the way, I saw three very placid Wood Storks on the parking lot next to Lake Mira-mar last night at dinner time. Unusual to see more than two at a time but yes, that area is a hot spot for big bird hand-outs (not good for people to feed these exotic birds). We continue to have intermittent rain showers and thunderstorms here so I have not been out to bird watch with the camera in a few days. Hope to be out and about soon! I will post what new pictures I do take in coming days. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Ibis at the Shoreline of Freedom Pointe Lake
Great Egret at Paradise Lake
Cattle Egret at Freedom Pointe Pond Meadow
Snowy Egret at El Lago Santiago
Wood Stork in Flight at Lake Paradise
Great Egrets and Sandhill Crane on Lake Paradise this last Spring
Probably a Red-shouldered Hawk
A Snowy Egret, a couple of Great Blue Herons, and surprisingly, a hawk (probably a Red Shouldered Hawk but hard to tell) were all spotted here in The Villages, Florida, last evening at about 5:30.
I spotted the egret at Lake Paradise, the Great Blue Herons at Lake Paradise and Lake Mira-mar, and the hawk at a lamp-post on Morse Blvd. near Rio Grande. Always fun to spot the hawks as they are not as frequently seen as are all the big wading and water birds here. I also spotted several Wood Storks which I will feature in a coming post. Always something to see here! So much fun! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
White Ibis at Lake Mira-mar
I spotted these water birds last weekend in The Villages, Fl at Lake Mira-mar at Spanish Springs, and the lovely little golf course pond at El Santiago Golf Course on Enrique Drive. Both spots are places I often can spot a few (or more) water birds and wading birds such as White Ibis, Sandhill Cranes, Snowy Egrets, and Anhingas. The golf course was being worked on and golf was not happening while I was there.
By the way, I occasionally spot Wood Storks and Bald Eagles at the area around the El Santiago golf course pond. It is a pleasure to visit the pond on Enrique Drive and try to see if there are eagles or storks around. The eagles are sometimes spotted up on the electric line towers there at the course, and about a block or two down the street. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Sandhill Cranes at the El Santiago Golf Course near the pond
A Snowy Egret hunts in the pond-side grass at the El Santiago Golf Course Pond
An Anhinga Dries off at the El Santiago Golf Course Pond
A trio of Florida Mottled Ducks, a Wood Stork with a Great Egret, and a hunting Snowy Egret were all spotted at the lovely Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida. I spotted these at Boone Park and at Schwartz Park, which is right around the corner basically, from Boone Park. Both small pocket parks have a nice viewing area and the water at Boone has filled in nicely after the drought.
This is a neighborhood residential lake with three parks on it. The larger park of the trio is Paradise Park. I often go to this lake to watch for larger birds. I also occasionally spot Sandhill Cranes such as the trio I photographed in flight above the adjacent neighborhood. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Wood Stork and Great Egret
Florida Mottled Ducks
Juvenile White Ibis
I saw this small flock of White Ibises at the lovely little Lake Mira-mar near the Spanish Springs Square in The Villages, Florida a few nights ago at dusk. Note the juvenile is the one with the brown and white feathers.
This beautiful Snowy Egret was seen at Boone Park on Lake Paradise, and the Wood Stork also on Lake Paradise seen in the distance, from the Schwartz Park shoreline. I also have been spotting a couple of Wood Storks off and on at Boone Park across the road into the far reaches of the lake.
I just love getting out and about and seeing all these big birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!