Flowers were blooming in early March.
One great blue heron wagging his tongue. The other had his pretty breeding colors on his face. You can see the color difference in the one above that’s not ready for a girlfriend yet.
After a bath.
There’s several fully grown gray swans. Might be a hybrid of the white mute swan and the black swan? They are really pretty.
Baby swan up close. The original “ugly duckling”.
Looking at the feet of a wood stork. It looks like his toenails are painted.
A quick walk around Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland before lunch. I only found one baby swan and not many swans nesting. Maybe they are nesting late this year.
A handful of shots of the baby swans at Lake Morton in Lakeland. There were 3 families there on the Saturday morning I stopped by. This was in late May so by now they are probably pretty big. They are so cute and inquisitive. They were swimming around and sticking there beaks in the water. They would peck at leaves or sticks floating by.
Baby swans are like cotton balls with feet and a beak. There were two at Lake Morton in Lakeland the morning I stopped by. The first picture was of a baby in a pen. The park rangers put the baby with the parents in a pen for a few weeks until the baby gets a little older and is not so vulnerable to all the dangers. There are a lot there. Eagles and hawks fly over and grab tiny things. Geese, ducks and other swans fight over territory and can be aggressive towards babies. Dogs in the neighborhoods around the lake can get out. It’s a scary life for a baby swan. The fenced in pens have space on the lake as well as grass for them to stay on.
I had been stopping by the lake almost every weekend for a while checking for babies with no luck. Finally, I got word from Jess that she had seen a baby on Friday afternoon and that by Monday the park rangers would put it in the pen. I met up with her on Sunday morning thinking I would stop for a quick visit and ended up staying for almost 3 hours. These cute little fuzz balls stole our hearts and everyone else’s who stopped by. We also saw a handful of baby ducks that morning. More on those later.