Birds at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

It’s not often you can get this up close with an eagle. This one was missing part of his wing and was spending his time at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. I caught him taking a bath.

Pelicans were hanging out in their big open space. Some were starting to nest.

Other birds were just hanging out and preening when I was there in mid-November.

I caught these two wild night herons fighting over nesting space over the roof of an exhibit.

You can also get close to the spoonbills. And since the flamingos were right behind you, you wouldn’t have to look at them and think they were flamingos.

A wood duck convention

I stopped by Lake Morton in Lakeland on the way home from Circle B Bar Reserve in mid-May. I usually see one or two wood duck couples there but on this trip they were all around the lake. Sleeping in the grass, hanging out on the swan fences, chasing each other. They must have been gathering for a baby making convention. I have not made it back over to the lake since then so I’m not sure it there were a lot of babies but I would hope so..

All of the usual suspects were there.

Feeding the fowl is encouraged at the lake although bread is extremely discouraged.  They have feeders that are filled with pellets that you can buy a handful for a quarter. This lady was feeding them cracked corn.

Clouds were rolling in and it was time to go home for lunch.

SkyWatch Friday

 

Swans a swimming and sleeping.

Lots of cormorants cruising across Lake Morton.

Cleaning up for the ladies. It’s nesting time around the lake.

Seven swans a sleeping?

Posing for me.

“Got a cigarette lady” Talk about timing. I was taking pictures with my long lens of the swan preening far out in the lake when I heard a noise right in front of me on the edge of the lake and saw these two getting frisky. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and snapped these. More baby swans coming around the lake.

My Corner of the World

Lots of birds at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

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Lots of robins in the trees.

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White pelicans were floating around.

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Wood duck on a log.  He didn’t have a tag on so I’m thinking he’s a wild one that is just hanging out here for the food.

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Spoonbill shaking off.

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It’s rare to be this close to an osprey. Especially when they are taking a bath. This one was in the big aviary.

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This wood stork was missing part of its wing.

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Both eagles are missing a wing.

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A rare white morph great blue heron was in the main pond. I didn’t see a tag on him. He’s got a beautiful face.

I made my annual winter trip up to Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park in mid-January. It was one of the first cold morning we have had. There was lots of bird activity at the park from injured birds that live there to the wild ones that fly in to visit. I took a ton of pictures so more on those to come.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Pretty birds doing everyday things.

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A purple gallinule shining through the reeds.

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A pretty common yellowthroat in the shade.

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A cute grebe floating around.

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A little blue heron taking a gulp.

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A red-eyed vireo being shy.

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A downy woodpecker high up in a tree.

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A limpkin looking down at me from up above.

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A palm warbler reaching for the stars.

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A white pelican all alone.

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Moorhens imitating each other.

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Tiny hummingbirds humming in the firebush.

Some of the birds on my recent walk around Circle B Bar Reserve.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Pretty faces at the lake.

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Some of the geese have all orange beaks and some have the spots on them. Is that a sunburn? Or maybe an age spot?

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The black swans were nesting.

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The only white pelican at the lake that morning. He looks comfy.

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Pretty goose face.

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The old man face.

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Green and yellow face.

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Another pretty goose face. His feathers are darker than the others and I don’t think his eyes are blue.

Pretty faces at Lake Morton in early March. I stopped to see if there were any duck or goose babies. Still a little early.

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A safe haven for injured birds.

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Spoonbill getting a drink of water.

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Green heron staring at the clouds.

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Pretty in pink.

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“What’s everybody staring at?”

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Looking sleepy.

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Trying to nap.

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A sad sight, problems with his eye.

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Even sadder, it looks like the other eye is missing.

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The osprey was missing half of a wing.

A few of the permanent residents at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. Most have permanent injuries.

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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.

White pelicans in central Florida in June?

Look at that, a white pelican in the middle of the spoonbill and stork crowd. And, there are still a few coots left. Most of the coots flew north weeks ago.

I saw another white pelican swimming towards me. His wing looked funny.

It looks like he was a broken wing. When he flapped a few times, the wing was hanging down.

Is that why there are a few white pelican hanging around central Florida in mid-June? They knew their friend couldn’t fly any further so they stayed behind with him?

These three hung out together for a while feeding. I had heard the nature center at Circle B was keeping an eye out on him. He was finally caught and sent to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in St. Pete. I have heard he lost that wing and is now a permanent resident at the sanctuary. He was being spoiled and seemed to be doing well there. I’ll be visiting him soon.  I guess now all of his friends can head back up north for the summer.

So here is the debate – should he not have been caught and allowed to live out his last few weeks free in the lake. Eventually he may have been eaten by an alligator with that bad wing. Or, was the right thing done to save him and remove the broken wing so he can live out many years being feed at the sanctuary. Spending his life with other injured white pelicans? They have a nice big pen with a pool to go swimming and get fed tasty fish every day. I have friends who have different opinions on the outcome. What do you think?

 

On another note, this morning I read an interesting post from guest blogger Scott Wittle on Arthur Morris’s site, Bird As Art. Scott is a photo birder that Arthur met recently in Trinidad. He had a very interesting opinion about whether you can be a birder or photographer or both at the same time.  I felt like he was talking to me. I’m out looking for wildlife and hope I can get a decent picture to record it. I’m not always out looking for the perfect picture. You can read his post here http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2012/07/10/scott-whittle-photo-birder/.  Let me know your thoughts on which is you.