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Posts tagged ‘Water Birds’

Wordless Wednesday: Winter Waterbirds

Great Egret in breeding plumage

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

White Pelicans

Canada Geese

Great Blue Heron in breeding plumage

 

Double-crested Cormorant

Tri-colored Heron with Seagull

Northern Shoveler Ducks

White Pelicans

White Pelicans have arrived in larger numbers here in The Villages, Florida.  These birds are here in the Winter from the Midwestern states.  I took these pictures on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.

The White Pelicans like freshwater lakes, ponds and slower rivers.  They eat fish, frogs, small tender turtles, and crayfish.  White Pelicans fish by diving.  They also work cooperatively in groups circling their prey.  Sometimes they even fish with the Double-crested Cormorants.

Younger White Pelicans have a pink bill which turns a golden orange-yellow as they age.  When in breeding season, many White Pelicans develop a disc-shaped growth on their upper bill.

I spotted these pelicans at the Lopez Legacy Golf Course driving range pond; at the La Hacienda Golf Course pond; and at the little pond near the library in the Paradise Park area.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

 

 

A Pied-billed Grebe Visits the Pond

A cute Pied-billed Grebe was spotted at the golf course pond behind the Mark Twain Library here in The Villages, FL on Sunday afternoon.  The small water bird is a frequent Winter visitor to our area.  This bird dives for aquatic snails, small fish, tiny frogs, tadpoles, tender small crayfish, and aquatic worms.

I rarely see flocks of these birds but generally do see one or two at a time.  These are at home on ponds  lakes and slower flowing rivers.  The Pied-billed Grebe is named for the banded, short, chicken-like bill the bird has.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

 

Wordless Wednesday: Juvenile Little Blue Heron

This white-phase juvenile wading bird is a Little Blue Heron.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Those Wild Wild Water Birds!

Wood Storks, White Ibis, Snowy Egrets, and a Common Moorhen were spotted at the Glenview Country Club’s front decorative ponds on Morse Blvd. near El Camino Real, here in The Villages, Florida several days ago.

This pond is a small one and is frequented usually by ducks.  People walk their dogs along the shoreline and often will give the birds a hand-out or two.  At times, other water birds join the fun.  I believe there also are aquatic snails, aquatic insects, small fish, small frogs and occasionally, small turtles in the twin ponds there.  There also is plenty of shade as the trees line one side of the pond.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

 

This is Wordless Wednesday: Florida’s Fantastic Tropical Anhinga Birds

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!  P.S.  My community is not in the hurricane area so no worries here.  I appreciate your thoughts and prayers for the “Panhandle” of Florida where the big hurricane will come ashore later today – Linda (“Wildlifewatcher”).

North Lake Apopka Birds (‘Gators too)

Little Blue Heron

Herons, egrets, alligators and more were spotted in Lake Apopka along The North Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.  The drive is an absolutely wonderful bird watching spot here in Central Florida!  We visited it on Sept. 1, 2018 in the afternoon.

The North Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is about eleven miles long on a one-way narrow dirt road that is sometimes on the top of a levy.  The wildlife is abundant!  I can only imagine what variety of birds will be there later on in the Winter months when so many birds migrate here to Florida.

I took over 100 photographs on the slow drive around the marsh.  This drive is free of charge and is fairly close to Orlando and The Villages.  It is near Apopka, FL.  I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area.  I will be sharing more photographs from my visit for this week’s blog posts.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Alligator

Great Blue Heron

 

 

 

White-phase Juvenile Little Blue Heron

View from the road with Little Blue Heron flying past in the distance

Hen Common Moorhen

A Somewhat Hidden American Purple Gallinule

This American Purple Gallinule was hunkered down among the reeds on the shoreline of Lake Griffin at the Bourlay Nature Park in Leesburg, Florida on April 19, 2018 at about 6:00pm.  I spotted the bird because it got spooked by the presence of an American Alligator circling around in the shallows of the lake near where the gallinule was hidden.

The Purple Gallinule that I photographed is a male and it sure is handsome with bright blue and purple feathers, a red-orange fleshy area over its beak, and bright yellow legs and feet.  The Purple Gallinule resembles the Common Moorhens and the Common Coots.  The Purple Gallinules often are spotted in shallow waters on the shoreline of lakes, striding around on top of lily pads and reed mats.  It has long thin toes which help it stay balanced on tippy floating leaves.  By the way, this is only the second Purple Gallinule I have ever spotted.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Double-Crested Cormorants

Double Crested Cormorants are frequently here on our ponds and lakes in the winter months here in The Villages, Florida.  These birds enjoy the warm weather quite a lot and around ponds, lakes, rivers, and both fresh and salt water marsh-lands.  Some of these cormorants are natives here but many are migrants from places north of us.  I also have spotted Double-Crested Cormorants at marina docks on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico at Cedar Key here in Florida.

These water birds dive for fish, frogs, baby alligators, tender soft-shelled turtles and larger aquatic insects and aquatic mollusks.  At times, Double-crested Cormorants are mixed in near the White Pelicans here.  The Double-Crested Cormorants are similar in looks to the slightly smaller Anhinga birds.  The Anhingas have a straight bill while there is a downward hook to the tip of the bill on the Double-Crested Cormorants.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Diving for a bit of food

Songbirds and Wading Birds

Male Boat-tailed Grackle

Eastern Bluebirds, a Boat-tailed Grackle, a Tufted Titmouse, a lovely pair of Sandhill Cranes and a lot of White Ibis, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Anhingas were all spotted here in The Villages, FL in the last couple of days.

I took the photo of the roosting birds on Morse Blvd. just below Rio Grande, on Monday 2/19/18,  at twilight.  That roosting area was active for years, and then was abandoned for the last year.  This marshland is once again wet, so hundreds of wading birds such as ibis, egrets, herons, and anhingas, are back every night to rest!

I took the photos of the songbirds, here in my neighborhood.  The weather has been fine so the birds have been out and about much more!  The photograph of the Sandhill Cranes was taken just off of Morse Blvd. along CR 466 along the multi-modal path.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.

White Ibis Heading to the Roost

Female Eastern Bluebird

Sandhill Cranes

 

 

 

 

 

Tufted titmouse on a Palm

White Ibis

The Roost

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