It was late February and I was going to be near north Tampa so I threw my camera in the car and stopped by the rookery before heading home. The nice thing about this one is that I can park on the side of the road and step out and start taking pictures. I knew it was too early for any babies but wanted to see how the nesting was going. There were tons of woods storks on the rookery and on the side of the pond.
They were all busy flying in and out of the rookery. I love how they hover with their landing gear down.
Most were busy getting sticks for the nest. You can really see the purple feathers in the top one.
There were a lot of couples and both were working on the nest. Many were already sitting on eggs.
The cutest little muscovy duck family came swimming by, staying close to Mom.
Mucsovy ducks are having babies at all of the local ponds including Largo Nature Preserve.
This blue winged teal couple was still floating around in late March.
The monk parakeets were flying back and forth getting sticks for their nests. Here they nest in a big utilty complex.
The dead trees near the parking lot were full of residents. The first one had a flicker nesting in it. Every once in a while she would poke her head out. The next tree had a hole that was full of bees. The next tree had several red bellied woodpeckers checking out the holes. They may nest later.
After several stops at this park looking for this ash throated flycatcher that had been seen by other birders for the last few weeks, I finally found it on the 3rd try. Luckily this was a “third time’s a charm” instead of “three strikes and you’re out.” It was hopping around in the trees right in the parking lot catching dragonflies. This was a new bird for me and while it’s not quite as pretty as the great crested flycatcher that we get pretty often around here, it was still a great find.
Walking on the boardwalk around the small lake, I found this nest. I’m thinking it’s a moorhen nest since there are a lot of them on this lake but I didn’t see any near this nest. Assuming it’s abandoned but hoping the parent just left for a quick bite.
I ran into cuteness overload at Lake Morton in mid-May with two baby swans.They were staying close to the parents. They grow up in a big fenced-in pen right on the lake so the babies have a better chance of surviving at the lake and then are let out once they are big enough to take care of themselves. Ducks, other swans, hawks, eagles, alligators and snakes are just a few of the dangers there.
Two juveniles black swans were about to be released.
Older baby wood ducks were taking a nap.
Safety in numbers. These muscovy babies were all huddled together.
Mom was watching over these babies.
Baby muscovy ducks are everywhere throughout the summer.
Cattle egrets at the rookery. Some were just starting to flirt and mate and some were already sitting on eggs.
Baby anhingas that were not flying yet. Waiting for a parent to come in with food.
Dad (on the left) flies in and the 3 babies immediately go after him for food.
The bird rookery in north Tampa was very busy in late April. Lots of babies from weeks old to almost grown. Wood storks, great egrets, cattle egrets and anhingas were the most prevelant with a few tricolored herons just starting to nest.
More pictures from my short time with a muscovy duck family in my neighborhood. I took so many pictures. I couldn’t help it, they were so cute. It was funny to watch them trying to get back on the grass one by one. They looked smaller than the grass blades. That last one hesitated for a long time before heading in.
Linking to Wednesday Around The World.
I stumbled on this muscovy duck family at Lake Morton back in late May. They were so cute. They stayed close together and close to Mom. I rarely see all yellow babies so this was a treat.
Near the duck family, hidden in the reeds along the lake, was a family of limpkins. There were 3 babies that were very shy. I couldn’t get them all together. They did not want to stay in one place very long. Mom wanted to take a nap and the babies kept moving around.
A little dose of cuteness for the morning.
Linking to Saturday’s Critters
Saw these little guys on the other side of the fence. There’s a pond in my neighborhood that is fenced in. The baby muscovy ducks were taking a nap recently when I drove by. I pulled over and snapped a few pictures.
This was another family napping along the pond. They were a little older than the previous family. They were also muscovy ducks.
Taken with my phone, 3 times recently I’ve had to stop and let one of the families cross the road on my way to work. This time they plopped down on the road and did not want to move. The car behind me honked and then went around. They eventually got up and headed on to the grass.
An even older family. These babies are starting to show their muscovy colors.
The 7 babies still stay close to mom (on the right). I’ve been seeing them every morning for weeks now hanging out along the way out of my neighborhoods.
Three late duck families in my neighborhood in early August. It will be interesting to see if they stay in the area long term.