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 pair of White Ibis were hunting for a quick meal in my front yard this afternoon. There was a break in the rain squalls so the big white birds came to browse for bugs. I am glad! The ibises are entertaining and pretty cool about my watching them and taking their picture (from an appropriate distance using my zoom lens). In the parks, the ibis seem calm and tame but when patrolling neighborhood lawns, they can be skittish. I was happy to see the birds be so nonchalant about my presence.
We are awaiting the coming Tropical Storm which we hope will not do much if anything as far as damage here in The Villages. Up North in Ocala where I used to live will be a bit rougher but still not hurricane strength stormy. I am going to post today, Thursday, instead of tomorrow due to uncertainty about the coming storm. Probably everything will be fine! I will let you know tomorrow or on my regular Monday post. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
UPDATE: All is fine for us here in my neighborhood of The Villages, FL. No damage on my street and just a bunch of Oak Tree sticks to rake up. No flooding or high winds at all. Thanks for your good wishes and prayers! Wildlifewatcher
White Ibises are not that unusual here in The Villages, Florida, but the medium-sized wading birds are most often seen on the shore of a pond or lake. Occasionally, the little flocks take wing and decide to strike out for different pastures and land in neighborhoods. A few days ago, I looked out my window and behold, there they were! It is exciting to see a small group of the ibises strolling along the lawns. About the only thing that gets the birds excited is when a resident walks their dog or when cars roll down the street. These birds seem pleasant and are excellent bug hunters. A nice thing here.
The juveniles are the brownish-colored ones in my pictures; with a more brown to tan-colored bill. The juvenile White Ibises get white feathers with black wing tip under feathers as they age and the bill of the juvenile turns red at the same time. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Juvenile White Ibises
Juvenile White Ibis
White Ibises, Mallard Ducks, Pekin Ducks, Muscovy Ducks, and a very hot Great Blue Heron were all trying to cool off yesterday afternoon here in The Villages, FL. It was about 88 degrees F. (and very humid) when I was visiting the lovely Veteran’s Park and little Mira-Mar Lake.
The brown and white-colored White Ibises are juveniles. The Ibises rushed up when our golf cart arrived, hoping against hope that we would be bringing treats. That is why I got the close-ups. No, no treats from me. It is against the law and bad for the exotic birds as well, to feed the Ibises, Cranes, Herons, Egrets and other larger wild birds. By the way, I also saw a male Northern Cardinal beating the heat by flitting about the bushes trying hunt in the shade.
Ibises and Mallard Ducks
Juvenile White Ibis
A Great Blue Heron Cooling Off
A Male Northern Cardinal
White Ibises come through my neighborhood and browse for insects, worms, grubs, and tie-bits of seeds on lawns from time to time.
Early last night at twilight, we came home from shopping at the local supermarket to find a small flock of Ibises on our lawn. So, out came my camera and here is the result. I enjoy these goofy-looking sweet big birds!
It does take a bit of getting used-to but I really love having White Ibises on the lawn. The ibises don’t stay long in one spot. I suspect that the ibises are good for the grass, too! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger image. Enjoy! Have a happy Easter!
Cedar Waxwings, Boat-tailed Grackles, Northern Cardinals, and of course, White Ibises all have visited along the street here where I live in recent weeks. It is always surprising to see which bird (and squirrel) is around! The Grey Squirrels are usually well-behaved but on occasion, they do walk gingerly across my front screened porch screening. No holes and that is a status I hope continues.
The Ibises are gentle and unfortunately easily frightened when grazing on lawns (not so when begging at the local park lakes). Occasionally we also have Eastern Blue Jays, Carolina Wrens, Northern Mockingbirds, and Palm Warblers around but they are pretty rarely seen (same for Bluebirds, Crows, and hawks or vultures). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Northern Cardinals (likely juvenile males)
American White Ibises are lovely goofy big wading birds. The many flocks here in my area frequent the little park lakes during the day. They have unfortunately learned to beg from well-meaning tourist visitors and unaware residents who treat them to bread, crackers or cereal as if they were park ducks. I do not participate in this and most folks here don’t but these ibises are conditioned to know that generally golf cart noises mean chow is here. By the way, it is generally illegal to feed exotic birds (Ibis, heron, egret, limpkin, spoonbills, stork, crane among others) in Florida.
The brown-colored ibis is a juvenile. They are especially attractive. As they age, their feathers will be replaced with the white and black ones that are the adult colors. Ibises mostly eat plants but also eat aquatic snails, small aquatic insects, worms, and occasionally very small fish or tadpoles.
I took these pictures here yesterday afternoon at two nearby small lakes. The ibises actually come up to people and are not wary at all. The have become really park pet animals but are still wild and free. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!