Sandhill Cranes at a pond on Morse near Live Oak Park
Egrets, Herons, Wood Storks, Sandhill Cranes, Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorants, Seagulls, and Common Coots were all spotted here on Freedom Pointe Lake and Lake Sumter in The Villages, FL this last weekend. What a bunch of wonderful birds to observe!
This area has a lot of ponds, small lakes and medium lakes plus marsh lands so there is a great many spots to observe the wildlife. We get a lot of different species of birds here in the Winter months. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version. Enjoy!
Cormorants, Egrets and Seagulls at Freedom Pointe Lake
Wood Storks and Anhingas
Great Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe Lake
A Raft of Common Coots on Lake Sumter
A Common Coot on Lake Sumter
A Double-Crested Cormorant on Freedom Pointe Lake
Wood Storks have been here in The Villages, FL, for about a month in larger numbers. A few days ago, I spotted seven of the large white and black birds at Lake Paradise. The big birds mostly are seen standing still or in flight. This is the second instance where I have seen Wood Storks laying on the ground resting. I noted that this behavior is similar to that seen in the White Ibis. I found it interesting.
The Wood Storks mostly fish by putting their large hard scoop-like bill into the mud and sucking in snails, larger insects, worms, tadpoles, frogs and small fish. I have read that some Wood Storks travel miles and miles from their tree roost to search for food. Amazing! I really enjoy seeing these birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Wood Storks have been here in The Villages, FL pretty much all year. These are among several of my favorite photographs of the Wood Storks. These birds are not much on looks but are easy-going big exotic wading birds. I enjoy seeing these birds quite a lot! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Wood Storks are seen here in The Villages, FL every now and then. They fly together in small flocks and stay for several days. These larger wading birds eat grains, small fish, frogs, small tender turtles, small alligators, and aquatic snails.
We have had minor flooding here and I spotted a pair of these Wood Storks strolling down flooded Kim Street at Boone Park on Lake Paradise earlier this evening. The storks were accompanied by a Great Egret, a Little Blue Heron and several Mottled Ducks. The other stork was spotted in the parking lot at the flooded Lake Mira-mar in The Villages. I had to take several of the pictures from quite a distance because of the flooded Boone Park and Kim Street areas (the other bird, which was at Lake Mira-mar, was quite close to our golf cart). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Wood Stork at Paradise Lake on 8/6/17
Wood Storks have been spotted here in The Villages, FL at several small park and golf course lakes. I have seen these amazing big birds at Lake Mira-mar near Spanish Springs; at the Lago El Santiago (Santiago Golf Pond on Enrique Dr.); and also at Paradise Lake at Paradise Park, and also at Boone Park. Happily to note, Paradise Lake is full of water! Hooray! The birds are enjoying it and for the first time in nearly a year, the ornamental waterfalls have been once again turned on!
The younger Wood Storks have a brighter and lighter bill and look a lot less weathered and aged. Old Wood Storks have a huge craggy darker bill – nearly a light charcoal grey. Wood Storks are on the “Threatened” list of birds here in the United States. A few years ago, these birds were considered as “Endangered”. I enjoy watching these unusual-looking exotic wild birds and are always on the look-out for them. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the image. Enjoy!
Wood Storks at Paradise Lake on 8/6/17
Wood Stork at Lake Mira-mar, 8/3/17
Wood Stork at Lago El Santiago, 8/2/17
I photographed these two Wood Storks in The Villages, Florida, this last Sunday. One of the two storks was walking off toward a small pond at a country club just off Buena Vista Blvd. near El Camino, while the other was spotted about a mile away on the shoreline of the El Santiago golf course pond on Enrique Drive.
Wood Storks have been around this community in recent weeks. I think we do see them quite a bit in July, and also in the Spring months here.
The big white and black birds often fly many miles from their nest rookeries to find food. They prefer small fish, crayfish, snails, aquatic worms, smaller turtles, and baby alligators.
I have found the demeanor of Wood Storks to be quite placid and easy-going but it is likely they are just resting a bit when I happen by. I always give the birds quite a lot of space so as to not stress them while I observe or photograph them.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A trio of Florida Mottled Ducks, a Wood Stork with a Great Egret, and a hunting Snowy Egret were all spotted at the lovely Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida. I spotted these at Boone Park and at Schwartz Park, which is right around the corner basically, from Boone Park. Both small pocket parks have a nice viewing area and the water at Boone has filled in nicely after the drought.
This is a neighborhood residential lake with three parks on it. The larger park of the trio is Paradise Park. I often go to this lake to watch for larger birds. I also occasionally spot Sandhill Cranes such as the trio I photographed in flight above the adjacent neighborhood. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Wood Stork and Great Egret
Florida Mottled Ducks