Young old souls

Wood storks are born looking like old souls. These babies are only a few months old and already look like an old man. I stopped by the bird rookery in north Tampa in mid-April and the little island in the middle of the small lake was full of older babies. Wood storks were the predominant birds with a few great egret and cattle egrets nesting as well.

This rookery is so busy that the families were all on top of each other.

Triplets were posing for me.

Parents were back and forth bringing in food and more padding for the nests.

I think these were the youngest ones there. All still fuzzy and white.

Wood stork babies seem to be more quiet than great egret babies. There wasn’t as much clacking going on.Since the island is in the middle of the lake, these were all taken with my 300mm lens and cropped up.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

Pretty in pink and white

Permanently injured white pelicans that live at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. They are beautiful birds.

Getting their morning snacks from a park ranger.

They have a white morph great blue heron missing a wing that lives there.

Wood stork also getting breakfast.

Pink fluff balls (spoonbills) all lined up.

You can get up close to all of the beautiful birds at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park just north of Tampa. The sanctuary is home to a lot of injured birds.

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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.

Party in the marsh

 

This spring we had a drought here in central Florida. The marshes at Circle B Bar Reserve had all dried up except for a tiny few spots. This one marsh still had some water in it so all of the birds were feeding in the same spot. I guess the bugs were plentiful in this spot. I’m not sure how long they stayed there feeding but the morning I was there in late April they were packed in and fighting over space. The crowd was mostly great egrets, snowy egrets and spoonbills but there were a few tricolored herons, little blue herons, great blue herons and green herons.  Oh, also glossy ibis, white ibis and wood storks. It’s been years since we’ve seen that many water birds congregate like that so everyone was taking tons of pictures including me.

Lettuce Lake Park

The usual suspects at the lake.

There wasn’t many little birds there but I did catch the above northern parula and carolina wren.

A few wood ducks floating around.

Teeny tiny critters along the boardwalk.

Just a few things from a recent walk at Lettuce Lake Park in north Tampa.

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