Great Blue Heron
Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Sandhill Cranes, a Limpkin, a few Wood Storks, and a lot of White Ibis, and Snowy Egrets (not pictured), were all spotted here in The Villages, Florida last month, May, 2017.
We often spot the egrets herons and ibis, but the cranes, wood storks, glossy ibis, and limpkin, are only spotted during certain months of the year (Sandhill Cranes being the most easily seen of this particular group of wading birds). We also get to see Tri-colored Herons and Little Blue Herons on occasion.
These larger wading birds enjoy the many small and medium-sized lakes here in our community where the food is usually abundant. We are recovering from a recent drought so the lakes happily are refilling with recent rains.
Most of these big birds eat aquatic snails, frogs, worms, and small fish. Some of the birds such as Sandhill Cranes also eat grains and seeds. I always enjoy getting out and spotting both songbirds and these big beauties! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Pelicans, Great Egret
This Limpkin has visited the little Lake Mira-Mar in The Villages, FL near Spanish Springs several times. I have previously photographed the big wading bird at this same location. I usually see the Limpkin at the Veteran’s Park area next to the golf cart path at the approach to the golf cart bridge. The bird is pretty secretive and is usually nocturnal so the best times to see it would be early in the morning and at dusk. I took these pictures at dinner-time last night.
Limpkins are a wading bird that love eating the aquatic Apple Snails found in the small lakes here in The Villages. There are not very many Limpkins around at all. I have only seen three (and one of my sightings may well have been this bird at a different spot). The Limpkins are marsh birds that are primarily living here in Florida in the USA.
These birds are vaguely similar in looks to juvenile White Ibis, juvenile Green Herons and Bitterns. All are about the same size and have a streaky brown coloring. The Limpkin the only bird of its family type and is not related to rails or even the cranes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Egyptian Geese are apparently making a home for themselves here in the United States. I have occasionally spotted pairs or small groups of these African immigrant geese during the last couple of years.
I also recently saw a photo from Texas where a pair of Egyptian Geese were strolling around a golf course. I think that may have been the idea of bringing these geese here from Africa. The Egyptian Geese are lovely and seem to have an OK temperament. I took these pictures on Lake Paradise on May 9, 2017. I also earlier spotted Egyptian Geese at the lake behind Freedom Pointe in The Villages, where there were a family of these geese, but that was about two months back. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
This Belted Kingfisher lives on Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida. I have seen this bird at both Paradise Park (the opposite shore from the bird) and at Boone Park. I took these pictures last week.
The Belted Kingfisher eats fish, frogs, tender turtles, tadpoles and larger aquatic insects. It swoops down and spears its prey with its sharp long bill. This bird is quite shy. Belted Kingfishers live around salt or fresh water.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Juvenile White Ibis
White Ibises and Great Egrets are among the many varieties of birds frequenting our shrinking small lakes here in The Villages, FL these days. The Great Egrets are sporting their magnificent breeding plumage now. Quite the beautiful sight! There are several juvenile White Ibises around, too. The youngsters have the brown color mixed in with the white. In a few months, they will turn white.
I took these pictures on Dec. 20, 2016 at Paradise Lake. We are in a drought and the little lake is rapidly drying up. The Boone Park area of the lake is mostly mud flats and Swartz Park is nearly so. The main part of the lake still has a lot of water so all is not dire. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version the picture. Enjoy. Wishing everyone a very happy New Year in 2017!
Adult White Ibis
Great Egret with empty Apple Snail shells on mud flat lake bottom
The White Pelicans with the accompanying Double Crested Cormorant flock has been here on the rapidly shrinking Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL, for several days. We are in a slight drought which is why the smaller lakes are drying up. I spotted the big birds flying-in at the lake on Dec. 22, 2016. The lake is drying up so there is great fishing for these birds! The White Pelicans are migrating South and likely will rest here a few days before moving on down the peninsula. The Pelicans are here from up North, likely from the Mid-west.
I want to wish all who celebrate, a happy Hanukkah! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy. Part 3 of 3 will appear here on Wednesday.
Double Crested Cormorants
There is a huge flock of Double Crested Cormorants here at one of the little community lakes here in The Villages, FL. The Double Crested Cormorants have migrated South for the Winter. These kinds of cormorants also can be seen in fresh water marshland and salt marshes in Florida and along the Gulf of Mexico and some areas of the Atlantic.
The Double Crested Cormorants often accompany the White Pelicans and sometimes, the Wood Storks in their migration. The cormorants are fishing birds. They dive into the water to catch their fish or frogs. Wading birds and pelicans often help herd the fish into the waiting bills of the cormorants or vice-versa.
This bunch of cormorants are presently on the two little lakes behind the Freedom Pointe Assisted Living Facilities on El Camino here in The Villages. I believe these birds are also roosting in the large trees along the shore. I took these pictures on Nov. 17, 2016 late in the afternoon. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A large part of the big flock of Double Crested Cormorants
Cormorants drying their wing feathers
Double Crested Cormorants