White Pelicans are annual Winter visitors here in The Villages. In the more Northern areas of The Villages, these big white and black birds with pinkish orange bills, are found on the golf course driving range pond at the Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course near the multi-modal path in the center of the course, and at Freedom Pointe Lakes.
The pelicans are fish and frog eating birds and often cooperatively hunt with Double-crested Cormorants. The pelicans seen here are mostly young adults and not yet ready to find mates (the mature pelicans in breeding season will develop a disc-shaped hump on their top bill). I took these pictures on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019 here in The Villages, FL. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Double Crested Cormorants are somewhat seasonal Winter migrant birds here in The Villages, Florida. A few do stay all year around though. These water birds especially like to accompany White Pelicans in their migration from up North. The cormorants roost in tall trees such as Oaks and Cypress near the water’s edge.
Cormorants often cooperatively hunt with small pods of White Pelicans. Double Crested Cormorants dive to hunt for fish, frogs, small turtles, and baby alligators in lakes, ponds and rivers as well as fresh and salt water marshes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Anhinga birds and Double-crested Cormorants are very similar aquatic birds. The differences are the bill and body size with only faint differences about the feathers. The Anhingas are more slender and have a very straight slender sword-like bill. The female Anhinga is more brown in color with a light tan throat. These females are also nicknamed “Piano birds” for the pattern of their feathers.
The Double-crested Cormorants can be distinguished by the slightly hooked tip of their long also sword-like bill. The cormorants also are much heftier and blocky in body than the Anhingas. Both eat fish, frogs, and small turtles. Both are experts in flight as well as swimming. Both the Anhingas and Double-crested Cormorants are referred to as “Snake birds” as they come up from diving with only their long sinuous neck and their head peeking out of the water.
The Anhingas are here all year long but the cormorants mostly are migratory with the White Pelicans. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Double-crested Cormorants are here for their Winter visit to The Villages, Florida. These birds are at home on and in the water, as well as roosting in the larger trees over-night. They are also excellent at flying from place to place. These water birds will be leaving our area in coming days and weeks to start migrating North. Cormorants often accompany White Pelicans or Great Egrets in their migration.
Cormorants eat fish, frogs, small turtles, baby alligators, and larger aquatic insects. The brown, rust. grey and black birds with orange bills, dive for their prey. The birds like Anhingas, spread their wings to dry them before flight.
Sometimes, the Double-crested Cormorants will assist the White Pelicans in hunting by circling the fish to gather them and then sharing the bounty. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Ring-necked Ducks, a Little Blue Heron, a beautiful Purple Gallinule, a few Common Moorhens, several Pied-billed Grebes, an Anhinga, and a Common Coot were spotted at the lovely gem of a nature preserve, the Sharon Rose Wiechens Nature Preserve here in The Villages, Florida on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018.
I often see the Common Moorhens and in season coots at this preserve. Less commonly seen are the Ring-Necked Ducks (all hens), the grebes, and the Little Blue Heron. I also frequently see Osprey in the area as the lake is a medium-sized one with lots of wildlife and fish. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that particular photo. Enjoy!
Hen Ring-necked Ducks
Hen Ring-necked Ducks
Little Blue Heron