They get no respect

There was a small fish kill on the lake due to the freeze we had for several nights in January. Even thought it got just below freezing here, the fish aren’t use to the cold and there was a small amount of fish floating near the trail per the last picture. The clean up crew (vultures) at Circle B Bar Reserve moved in quickly and were dragging the dead fish up on the trail and feasting away the weekend I was there. They didn’t even bother to move as we walked down the trail.  Just kept eating.

The trees were full of fat and happy vultures.

Several alligators were up on the trail. The vultures didn’t move away when the alligators came up.

This was Momma pig right before she had her babies when she was hanging around the nature center. She walked by so close I could only get her face in. She has since had a litter. More on that to come.

The barred owls were still hiding under the palm tree in mid January. They have since moved to the nest in the hole in the tree.

Vultures are usually plentiful at Circle B Bar Reserve but in mid January the place was covered in them.  They were in the trees all along Marsh Rabbit Run Trail and along the trail feasting on the dead fish. The smell was a little ripe in some places but they were busy cleaning up the place. I went back several weeks later and there was no sign of any dead fish.

Fun at the zoo in late July.

Not everyone gets to see a barred owl up close. At the zoo you can although I zoomed in on his face to get closer. Mr. Sleepy is permanently injured and lives at the zoo.

Above are some of the parrots that get to fly around the zoo in the mornings.

Pretty lorikeet in the aviary.

“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” goes the old saying.  She was feeding him something. Still, I’d be a little nervous doing that.

Another Mr. Sleepy, it’s rare to see a koala bear moving around during the day. I caught this one stretching.

Creepy critters behind glass.

Injured manatees recuperating at the hospital at the zoo.

Fun at the zoo in late July.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup


Same Ole, Same Ole

The barred owls have been hanging out next to the parking lot for a while now.

The reserve is full of green herons. They are now a usual suspect.

Along with male anhingas showing off.

And the glossy ibis sparkling in the sun are a dime a dozen.

The cute pied grebes aren’t as skittish as they use to be.

There’s always snowy egrets in a body of water.

Now I see purple gallinules every time I walk Alligator Alley trail.

Even a great blue heron baby in the nest during spring is common here.

Seeing a bald eagle somewhere in the park is pretty common, even if its way up high half hidden in a cypress tree.

But I still love walking the trails at Circle B Bar Reserve and seeing all of the above every time I’m here. Even when it gets crowded on the weekends. I just get there a little earlier and leave before lunch when the crowd starts coming in.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Chesnut Park in late February.


Sleepy barred owl high up in a tree.




A few usuals – black and white warbler, grackle and a cardinal.


A pileated woodpecker taken right into the sun.


A great blue heron flying close over my head.




I saw this hawk eating something that looked like a really big beetle.


The water near the dock is full of these.



A few of my friends came by to say “Hi” while I was at Chesnut Park in late February.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

High up in the trees

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A barred owl right over the trail. He looks so curious. He’s thinking “What is that constant clicking noise down there?”



A few branches over was a baby.


A few steps down the trail, a red shoulder hawk was up in the trees.



An almost grown baby hawk was a few branches away.

There are lots of babies growing up at Circle B Bar Reserve. Several barred owl and hawk families were along the trail in early May. Everybody was growing up fast.

Surprise! It’s twins!


The barred owls had a nest at the busiest trail intersection at Circle B Bar Reserve. Everyone coming from the parking lot got a glimpse of the babies.  The entire 4 hours I was there, the bigger baby was sleeping on a low branch right over the trail. Someone did say they saw it yawning a few times but I only saw it sleeping.





The smaller baby was in another tree on the other side of the trail. He was very curious about that fern growing out of the branch in front of him. These were all taken directly in the sun so it was hard to get a good clear shot of his face and color.


Later in the day I stopped by before leaving and he was sleeping like his bigger sibling.




One of the parents was close by, trying to sleep in the sun.


The other parent was trying to hide higher up in a tree.  He looked tired. Aren’t most parents of twins?  Trying to feed two hungry beaks.

An unexpected surprise in the big tree by the parking lot. I don’t think the owls have nested there before. They will probably be all grown up before I make it out to the park again. Sigh! They grow up so fast.

More great blue heron hanky panky


This great blue heron flew over my head and landed high up in a tree. It took me a minute to figure out what he was doing up there. He was breaking off a branch to take back to the nest.


He flew over to a nest across the marsh and gave it to his mate.




It was over in a few seconds. Hopefully this tree will have babies in it soon.





The barred owl that’s been sleeping in the big tree near the parking lot at Circle B Bar Reserve was sleeping the morning I was there in early February. He did wake up and preen his feathers for a few minutes before going back to sleep.

SkyWatch Friday

Funny “Bird” faces at the zoo.


Inca tern in the aviary.


Blue bellied roller in the aviary.





Crazy lorikeets in the lorikeet feeding aviary.


A hooded merganser hanging around the manatee exhibit. I’m not sure if he is part of the zoo. I didn’t see a band on him.



The marabou stork couple flirting on the nest.


I was looking around up in the trees to see if any of the wild birds are nesting yet and saw this barred owl high up in the pine trees.

More pictures from my recent trip to the Lowry Park zoo.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Meet Hancock, the barred owl

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Timing is everything. I have spent countless hours looking for the barred owls at Circle B Bar Reserve with little luck in the past year.  I had heard one was hanging around the dock over Lake Hancock recently but I wasn’t even going to try to find him. I figured he would be napping high up in a tree somewhere off the trail. I stopped by the dock and took a 10 minute break and then headed back on the trail. A lady was waving at me a little ways down. As I got closer, several people were standing on the trail staring at this guy. He was eye level and at first he had his back to us. After a few minutes, he flew over to another branch and was staring right at us. I love the curious looks on his face. At this point it was drizzling and we all stood under a tree while taking pictures of him in the rain. Someone in the group named him Hancock, since he lives on Lake Hancock. Although I have other pictures of barred owls, it was great to see other people getting excited at their first time watching one.

Saturday's Critters