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Posts tagged ‘Tri-colored Heron’

Herons

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, and Little Blue Herons are the most commonly seen herons here in The Villages, Florida.  The Great Blue Heron is the most frequently seen, followed by the Little Blue Heron.  I think I have only seen one Green Heron here and that was a year ago.

All of these herons are wading birds that shuffle along in the shallows of the lakes and ponds to spear fish, frogs, or turtles with their long sharp bills.  They also eat larger insects, small lizards, and large aquatic insects or snails.

The herons roost up in tall trees.  Many prefer the Cypress Trees here.  Some also will roost in the medium-sized trees where there also are Ibis or Egrets.  We used to have a large area of roosts on Morse Blvd. (I had photographed it and posted about it many months ago) but that area seems out of favor with the birds in recent months.  I don’t know the reason for the big move.  It could be a case of too much threat from coyotes or other predators.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the photo.

Tri-colored Heron

Little Blue Heron

Tri-colored Herons and Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Herons and Great Blue Herons make their home on the lovely little Lake Paradise here in The Villages, FL.  This small private residential lake often hosts a few of the large wading birds.  I took these pictures mostly from Swartz Park.

The Tri-colored Herons are steel grey, cream, and have maroon highlights on the upper neck and back.  They have yellow legs and a brownish-yellow bill.  These birds eat fish, frogs, turtles, aquatic insects, aquatic snails, and occasionally ducklings.

Great Blue Herons are among the larger of the wading birds.  These birds are medium-grey, with black and white.  They often have a few back hanging feathers off of the crown of their head like a long mohawk.  They occasionally are seen in an all white color, which is quite similar to the way the Great Egret looks.  These herons eat basically the same foods as the Tri-colored Herons do.  The Great Blue Herons sleep and nest up in large trees, preferring evergreens or Cypresses.

I took these pictures during the late afternoon on a couple of days in the past week.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Great Blue Heron and Tri-colored Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron was spotted along with a lovely Tri-colored Heron, at the tiny neighborhood Swartz Park on Lake Paradise, in The Villages, Florida, on Tuesday evening (9/20/16) at about 5:30PM.

The Great Blue Heron was perched on the top of a neighboring residential fishing dock gazebo.  The Tri-colored Heron was out successfully fishing for its dinner.  The Great Blue Heron never moved in the five minutes I spent birding at that location.

The Tri-colored Heron was always in motion – stalking in the shallow water;  perching on the top of a cypress; or flying between lake shore areas.  Both of these herons fish for their meals of fish, frogs, tadpoles, small tender turtles, and snails by stabbing with their sharp sword-like bills.  Occasionally, these wading birds will also eat smaller shoreline animals or large insects.

I always have a lot of fun bird watching in this neighborhood lake.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Reflection of the Great Blue Heron on the lake

Reflection of the Great Blue Heron on the lake

 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron with Fish

Tri-colored Heron with Fish

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

The Tri-colored Heron at Lake Mira Mar in The Villages, FL

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When I spotted the Snowy Egret a few days ago in The Villages (my post of June 12, 2016), I also saw a handsome Tri-colored Heron on the opposite side of the little bridge I was standing upon.  I took turns taking pictures of both of the wading birds without disturbing either one.

The Tri-colored Heron is a medium heron with a soft grey-blue coloring mixed with a bit of maroon red and creamy white.  It primarily eats small fish, frogs, crawfish, tender small turtles, eggs, and larger aquatic insects.  These birds wade in the shallow water of ponds, lakes, small creeks, rivers, and both fresh and salt water marshes.  Tri-colored Herons are excellent at flying and fly home to roost in tall trees at the close of the day.

I really enjoy the rare chance to spot this bird here.  I saw this Tri-colored Heron, and the Snowy Egret,  behind the Sharon theater in the Spanish Springs area on June 7, 2016 in the early evening hours at the man-made stream that empties into Lake Mira Mar.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

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Some Wildlife in The Villages, FL

 

Backyard Surprise: A Mallard Duck!

The Mallard Duck

I saw this drake Mallard in my back yard one early evening.  I snapped that particular picture through my window.  Imagine my surprise as I live about a half-mile from the nearest pond or lake.  After having seen this duck, I noticed that there have been a few of these ducks roaming around this neighborhood in the last couple of weeks.  Perhaps in search of a honey or maybe just different food?  Who can say.

I spotted the Killdeer, Tri-colored Heron and the Great Egret at Santiago Golf Course pond, and the Wood Duck drake at Paradise Lake at Boone Park in The Villages, Florida. This Wood Duck is one of the few Wood Ducks I have ever seen in The Villages.

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

A Tri-colored Heron at Santiago Golf Course Pond

A Tri-colored Heron at Santiago Golf Course Pond

Oh-so-low, A Great Egret Hunts

A Great Egret Hunts

Great Egret at Santiago Golf Course Pond

A Great Egret at Santiago Golf Course Pond

 

A Killdeer at Santiago Golf Course

A Killdeer at Santiago Golf Course

A Family of Canada Geese at Boone Park

Canada Geese at Boone Park

Drake (male) Wood Duck at Boone Park

A Wood Duck at Boone Park

 

 

Fabulous Waders in Breeding Plumage!

Egrets, Heron, Canada Geese

Egrets, Heron, Canada Geese

Snowy Egrets

Snowy Egrets

Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egrets

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!

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Great Egret and Snow Egrets

Great Egret and Snow Egrets

Double Crested Cormorants

Double Crested Cormorants

 

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

Great White Heron in Breeding Plumage

Great White Heron in Breeding Plumage

Great Egret in Breeding Plumage

Great Egret in Breeding Plumage

Waders and Waterfowl Fishing Together

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The fishing must have been quite good as a couple of days ago I spotted a Tri-colored Heron, a Snowy Egret, a pair of Pied-billed Grebes, and later, some Hooded Mergansers all trying to catch their lunch in the shallows of a little park lake near here.  All really love eating small fish, tadpoles, frogs, small turtles, and aquatic snails.

This particular little lake also has a few small resident alligators competing and preying so I think the wading birds are pretty careful – I know I was!  This arm of the lake is behind the Veteran’s Memorial near Spanish Square and next to the famous golf cart bridge over highway 441.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see a larger version of that photo.  Enjoy!

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