Getting up close with Florida critters.

Up close with a ruddy duck.

And black bellied whistling ducks.  One was missing an eye

A pretty lady wood duck.

A very important sign.  Even the night heron standing in front of it should not be fed.

“Hooo’s there?” said the burrowing owl.

Crawling critters behind glass.

Growing inside the aquarium, the beauty berry can be see in the many of the parks around Tampa. The birds and critters eat the berries.

On the wall in the aquarium, this would make cool wallpaper.

A few things from a recent trip to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.  When it’s too hot to see the fishies from the beach, it’s time to head inside at the aquarium.

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

A stop by Swan Lake during the holidays.

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Which one doesn’t belong?

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Gotta itch!

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Floating through the lily pads.

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Imagine using your mouth to clean your foot.  Or maybe he’s using his foot to clean his mouth?

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Taking a bath.

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Friends hanging out together.

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Lady ruddy duck floating by.

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Time to take down the tree.

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Last one there is a rotten duck.

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“I’m the man!”

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Getting pretty.

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Gulp!

Another stop on the Christmas tourist tour. My sister had not been to Lakeland before to see the swans so we stopped by Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland on our way back from Bok Tower Gardens. The lake was busy with people feeding the ducks, swans and geese so we hung out for a while and enjoyed the day.

Flying things at the Florida Aquarium

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This is the closest I’ll get to a hooded merganser. They are so skittish. The ones that float around in the channel behind my house take off if I open the back door. It’s interesting that his beak looks like it has mini teeth on the edge, almost like a crocodile snout.

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Ruddy duck floating around on top of the fish exhibit.

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I think this is a fulvous whistling duck. He was quacking at an ibis to get out of his spot.

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Spoony with an itch.

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Close up of a spoonbill living at the aquarium.

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They are very used to people so they came close to the edge of the exhibit.

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This little kildeer had his own private beach next to the stingrays.

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This must have been a lost sooty tern that was sick or injured and found a home here.

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Oh yeah, there is fish at the aquarium. Lots of fish.

More pictures from my fun pre-Christmas trip to the Florida Aquarium. I think I like the wetlands exhibit the best since they have birds there and you can see them really close. All of the birds were injured and unable to release back in the wild so now they live here.

Camera Critters

Duck, Duck, Goose

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Wood duck hiding in the shade.

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Ruddy duck floating around the lake. This guy should have gone north by now.

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Powder puff head still cruising around the lake looking for handouts.

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Interesting hybrid floating around.

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The geese were watching me. Checking to see if I had any food.

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The magnolias are out in full force.

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Not sure what this tree is. It looks a bit like forsythia but aren’t those bushes?

Another walk around Lake Morton looking for baby animals. There were plenty of baby ducks but at this time in late April there were still no baby swans. I was finally able to get a swan family though in early May.

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Ducks at Lake Morton

By late October, ring neck ducks were sighted at most lakes. This was at Lake Morton in Lakeland.

There was a large flock of ruddy ducks floating in the middle of the lake. Ruddys are a little more rare to find than the ring necks.

Waving his foot while preening.

One of the male ruddy ducks came close to the edge of the lake. Most of the time they stay right in the middle.

Female ruddy duck skimming the water.

Not a rare duck but some type of hybrid. There’s a lot of ducks, geese and swans at Lake Morton and they tend to mix quite often. Could be a mix of mallard and a white duck.

Lake Morton is a good place to check for winter duck arrivals. In late October, the lake was full of coots, ruddy ducks, ring necks. I didn’t see any redheads yet. Last winter there a few hanging around. I’ll check back there later to see what else shows up. I’ve seen pictures of an eagle that hangs out around the lake in the mornings and I still haven’t seen him yet.

Camera Critters