I recently came across a sandhill crane family walking along Polk Parkway in Lakeland. I stopped on the side of the road to get a few pictures. There were 2 parents and 3 babies. I stayed pretty far away. I parked a little ways down the road and walked backwards towards them. I'm sure people driving by where thinking "What is this girl doing?". The family was very cute staying close together. They grazed around for a few minutes in front of me and then wandered off.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I was on my way from Gatorland in Orlando to Circle B Bar Reserve this past weekend and noticed this big landfill sitting on the side of the road I was traveling on. There were so many birds sitting on top of the trash pile that I had to stop and take a picture. Pretty sight isn't it? I did notice when I got home and zoomed in on the pictures there was an eagle sitting on top of the pile. I guess one man's trash is another bird's treasure!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
It all starts here. Two egrets getting frisky in the bushes.
Mom! Where'd you go?
Mom with her back to me with 3 babies.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I was in Lakeland recently and had to stop by Hollis Gardens and get some pictures of the flowers there. It's a small place but very beautiful. It sits right on a lake in downtown Lakeland. You can get married there and they were getting ready for a wedding the day I was there. Considering we had recently been through some very cold nights, the flowers still looked pretty. There were lots of bees around which is a sign spring is coming.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I found another eagle's nest. This one is close to work. I was going back to work with my favorite lunch take out, Panera, and was sitting at a red light when I noticed something big and brown sitting on top of a cell tower. I turned at the light, drove closer to the cell tower and thought it looked like an eagle. I didn't have my camera with me at that time. I drove by several times later in the next two weeks and finally saw the eagle again on top of the tower. Of course it was cloudy and drizzling but was able to get a picture. You can see the nest in the left corner. If there are babies they should be flying soon. Most of the eaglets in Pinellas already are. I'll check back later to see if there are any eaglets sitting on the tower.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I found these 5 white pelicans hanging out at Lake Morton in Lakeland. Soon they will be going home, some as far as Canada. They seemed to be calm and tolerate all the other birds and people at the park. Other white pelicans that I have seen in the area stay far away from people. They were doing a lot of yawning, stretching and scratching.
Friday, March 19, 2010
A baby zebra was born on St. Patrick's day at Lowry Park zoo. Above is a video from the zoo of the baby zebra taking it's first steps and below is the official press release from the zoo with a great picture. Hopefully in the next couple of weekends I will be able to get there to get some pictures.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Her egg. She was walking around the nest. She has a nice big nest.
Swan sitting on her nest.
Not sure if these are abandoned eggs. There were eggs everywhere.
Another black swan on a nest under a bush. Ibis were walking all around her.
This goose had just laid this egg. She stared at it and then plopped down and sat on it.
Nesting season is in full swing at Lake Morton in Lakeland. There were several swans and geese with nests. I noticed several eggs just laying on the ground out in the open without any swans or geese near them. I'm not sure if they sometimes lay eggs and then abandon them. I've read that the eggs take anywhere from 30-45 days before they hatch. That's a long time for a goose to guard an egg out in the open at the lake. A couple of the swan nests had 2 swans on it so both parents seemed to be pitching in. I'm going to try and go back in a couple of weeks to see if there are any chicks running around.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This "feeder" came fully prepared with her rubber gloves and bags of bread.
I had always heard of the famous swans that live in the big lake in downtown Lakeland. I finally made it over there this weekend. My husband had some business near there on Saturday morning so I rode over with him and headed to the lake while he was working. At first I just saw a few swans and thought "This is cool". I parked and got out and started taking pictures. Then I noticed across the lake (across the street from the Chamber of Commerce) there was a huge flock of them hanging around. There were also plenty of ibis, egrets, ducks and geese hanging around as well. The swans were friendly but not overly aggressive. The geese are the ones to watch out for. They will chase you down if they think you have food. I was leaning on a tree away from the fowl crowd with my eye to the camera focusing on the ducks in the water when I felt this bang, bang, bang on my tennis shoe. I looked down and this goose was banging on my shoe wanting to be fed. If you go there to walk around in the grass be careful where you walk. All that feeding produces a lot of fowl poop. More on "swan lake" coming in later posts.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Male ruddy duck. He also has a pretty blue bill.
Time for a nap.
I used to think all ducks looked alike. They all quacked and paddled around on top of the water. In the past year I have been learning about all of the different ducks and their distinguishing features. I noticed on a recent trip to the zoo how many different ducks were at the zoo and how different they all looked. They all had different beautiful features. An important note - not all ducks quack, there are some ducks that whistle when they are flying.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Below are some of the other residents there.