Great Egret and Cormorants
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Tri-colored Herons, Canada Geese, and Double-crested Cormorants, are here this Winter at many of our ponds and lakes in The Villages, FL. Most of these birds are now in the beginning of their breeding season and the egrets will be developing long billowing plumage with which to attract their potential mate.
Egrets hunt by wading in shallow water to spear a small fish or frog with their sharp bill. They also will occasionally root in the mud for aquatic worms and snails. On land, the Great Egret sometimes hunts for mice, lizards and snakes in the landscaping around yards and parking lots. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret & Canada Geese
Snowy Egret, Tri-colored Heron
These Snowy Egrets were photographed here in The Villages, FL in recent weeks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.
(With Great Egrets)
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
Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets are commonly seen here in The Villages, Florida, on our many ponds and lakes and in the freshwater marsh prairies.
In addition to being on the shoreline of the ponds and lakes, the Great Egret often can be spotted meandering through the bushes and landscaped medians along the major streets. The Great Egret likes to hunt for lizards, snakes and mice along with its usual diet of fish and frogs.
The much smaller Snowy Egret is usually only seen wading along shoreline areas fishing for the same fish, frogs, small turtles and the larger aquatic insects. The Snowy Egret has mustard yellow feet, greenish black legs and a patch of mustard yellow on the top of the black bill. The Great Egret has the broader yellow bill and is a huge bird in comparison to the Snowy.
In Winter, these white birds can be seen in their majestic long flowing breeding plumage. These are very beautiful birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Snowy Egrets were at the little golf course pond behind the Mark Twain Library here in The Villages, FL yesterday afternoon. There were a bunch of Great Egrets, a Pied-billed Grebe, many Canada Geese, a flock of Mallard Ducks, a Tri-colored Heron, a Great Blue Heron, and many Double-crested Cormorants at the pond during the same period. I will share some of those birds in future posts here.
The Snowy Egrets are getting their Winter breeding plumage now. These birds are very showy in luxurious white feathers, a long black sharply pointed bill, greenish-yellow legs, a yellow spot just below their eyes, and the tell-tale mustard yellow-colored feet. The Snowy Egrets are truly beautiful smaller egrets! They live around water (mostly freshwater). These birds eat fish, tadpoles, aquatic snails, baby alligators, frogs, tender small turtles and crayfish. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Two Roseate Spoonbills visited the shore of Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida, this afternoon! I took these pictures at dusk and from across the lake so I had to crop the shot to allow you to better see the bird. These are quite rare here in Lake County, FL!
This is the first time I have seen spoonbills in The Villages! We actually had a crowd of wading birds at Lake Paradise today. There were many Great Egrets, Double-crested Cormorants, Snowy Egrets, the Roseate Spoonbills, seven Wood Storks, many White Ibis, and even a Great Blue Heron. Wow! Very unusual. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A flock of Double-crested Cormorants; several Wood Storks; a flock of Canada Geese; several Egyptian Geese; a lot of Mottled Ducks; a few Great Egrets; a few Snowy Egrets; a few Mallard Ducks; and a small pod of White Pelicans. I also spotted a Southern Bald Eagle up on a nearby electrical tower. Today’s post is part one of two showcasing all these birds. I will show part 2 on Friday.
Our migratory Winter visitors, the true “Snow birds” are coming in droves daily here. I spotted all these birds on the driving range pond of the beautiful Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course here in The Villages, FL today. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!