Brown birds high up in the trees

The wild cormorants and anhingas nest in the highest trees at the bird rookery at Gatorland. High over the alligator lake, they build the tiniest nests.

This almost grown cormorant was still being fed by the parent. He was digging way down deep to get that fish that was stuck down his parent’s throat.

This handsome anhinga was still grabbing sticks for a nest.

Another one tried for the longest time to break off this branch.

Bringing it back to the nest!

Photographing New Zealand

Cute, fuzzy and fun at Lake Morton

It’s that fun time of the year when there are baby ducks everywhere. This one Blondie in the family was so cute. It’s amazing they grow up to look like mom.

The three stooges standing on a pipe.

Beautiful swans at  Lake Morton.

It felt like spring in late March.

A wood duck couple.

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Showing off on Lake Morton

Lots of pretty swans on Lake Morton.

The cormorants were getting all their “ducks” all lined up.

In a flash, I saw the male northern shoveler flying away. He was very skittish.  Then a ring necked duck came in for a landing.

A lady was feeding the ducks some cracked corn (which is what they should be eating instead of bread).

Drying off on the lake.

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Two lakes in downtown.

One of the black necked swans.

A black swan working on a nest.

A young mute swan.

A young and an old wood stork.

One of the shelducks at Lake Mirror.

A pied grebe hiding in the reeds,

Cormorants and anhingas drying off in the sun. The first bird in the top picture is an anhinga. The rest are cormorants. Anhingas have a straight beak and spear their fish. Cormorants have a curved beak and hook their fish.

Threes a crowd.

All taken at Lake Morton and Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland. The small lakes are just a few minutes apart so it’s easy to do quick walks around both before heading home.

Our first day in Colorado

All above were taken from our balcony at our hotel in Colorado Springs. As I was taking a picture of the mountain with the fog rolling in a magpie flew on to the balcony above us. I leaned over to get a blurry shot of him with a big bug. I then realized the trees near us also had magpies in them. This was my first timing seeing these. They are in the crow family but are much prettier than our fish crows back home.

I took a quick walk around the property before we headed out for the day and saw all of the above.

I had read that there was lots of wildlife on the hotel property but when I got to the lake there were the same ole birds I see at home. I thought “Really, I flew halfway across the country to see gulls, mallards and cormorants?” I get those in my backyard at home. But I did see a few different things over the week.

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Busy morning on the trail.

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A wren hiding in the bushes. I think this is either a house or marsh wren.

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Cormorant fly-bys.

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Several limpkins were eating along the trail.

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So many limpkins have grown up right on the trail. They are not easily frightened.  In the first picture, I saw this big group of school kids heading down the trail and I didn’t think the limpkin was going to move. He didn’t. He just stood there like “You guys are in my way.” The kids eventually went around him one by one.

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A snowy egret and cormorant hanging around the dock.

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There were so many phoebes there. There was a constant echo of their call.

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Close enough.

All from my recent trip to Circle B Bar Reserve in central Florida.

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Yummy fish for breakfast

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Young great egrets are being fed by mom. The parents swallow the fish and then regurgitate the fish back up into the baby’s beak. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

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A young cormorant was begging mom to feed him.

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The youngest babies at the park that day. They are 1 or 2 day old snowy egrets. The parents were going to be busy feeding 3 babies. You can just barely see the fish eyes coming out of the mom’s beak. Looks like she had a beak full of minnows.

All morning long the babies yell to be fed. The tiny ones like in the last pictures aren’t so bad since they are so small and don’t quite know what’s going on yet. The bigger babies such as the top great egret pictures are obnoxious. They are really loud and flap their wings until they are fed. When the parent flies over to the nest they attack them. The parents keep feeding them though. All of the above were from my trip to Gatorland in May.