Saturday, June 10, 2006

Breeding Time ...And A Mystery Duck


Old Crank above is dressed to kill. All he needs is a lady Crankette to dance with. He's not always this pretty, but it's spring after all. The males of the heron and egret clan are sporting their breeding plumage in hopes of impressing a long-legged gal. Apparently it's a high maintenance "doo" as both the cooperative heron and the egret below were constantly fluffing and preening these "aigrettes".

Both the blue heron and common egret above are wild birds, but they are hanging out at a State Park known as Homosassa Springs. It was a private zoolike attraction in a natural setting (mostly) when I was a kid, but Disney and the interstate killed it. So, the state came in and rescued it, and today it is billed as a "wildlife park". The state park service is essentially running a zoo, but they have refocused on native wildlife and the site does some pretty important manatee rehabilitation.
So the pictures above might be considered zoo shots, even though they were free to leave, unlike the other animals.
Still, sometime ago, I stated that I don't use zoo shots, so I felt the need to mention this borderline case.


The ducks above are pure zoo shots from Homosassa. I'm including them because I missed the sign that identified them and was wondering if any of you know their name. They were absolutely hilarious...even for ducks. Lots of social interaction and wacky duckiness...if you've ever kept ducks, you know what I mean.

Upcoming adventures:
I took the top off the JEEP yesterday and I am scheduled to go out in the Gulf to work on a clam farm tomorrow , so of course the weather forecast has switched from "not a chance in hell of rain" to 40% chance. Anyway, I hope to have a story about clam farming for you soon. Keep your fingers crossed and wish for rain on Monday ...not Sunday. Posted by Picasa


Abandoned in Pasadena said...

The blue herons are really amazing to watch, but I have never had a chance to really watch them up close, only from a distance...they always leave when I try to get closer.

I've had ducks and they certainly are wacky acting, but I can't help you with their name, sorry.

Taking the top off the jeep sounds wonderful and that's exactly what I would love to do to mine.

Floridacracker said...

Taking the top off seems to be a sure fired way to break this drought we've been enduring.

Laura said...

I'm a tad cynical, as I don't trust that rainstorm one bit. Wilma was supposed to just dump a bucket of rain on South Florida, remember? Also, Charlie was supposed to come here to Tampabay, but made a sharp right turn into Port Charlotte area instead.
So it's wait and see for us. I am really hoping it is just an old fashioned, badly needed tropical rain storm!! LOL.

Loved the bird shots. We've been to Homosassa Springs a few times to see the Manatees and it is really pretty there. I don't know the names of the ducks, sorry. But I always go with Huey. Dewey and Louie....

robin andrea said...

Nice heron and egret shots. They are such elegant birds. Can't help you with the duck ID, but I do have my fingers crossed, and I'm wishing for a Monday rain.

Floridacracker said...

I may just go with those names too!
Maybe it's just me, but your site would not finish loading today. Greenbar all the way across, but the little flaggy thing just kept waving.

Thanks for the Monday rain mojo!

Mrs. S said...


And, in light of the adorable duck pictures, I think the borderline pictures above can be forgiven for their borderline-ness.

And I will hope for no rain on Sunday for you.

Floridacracker said...

Mrs. S, rain 'til Monday would be just ducky with me.

doubleknot said...

Sorry but I will take rain any time I can get it here. We had all of ten minuets yesterday and desperatly need more.
Can't help you with the duck name but sure is a cute pic. Learned something new didn't know egrets and herons grew extra feathers for - ah hem - getting together.

Floridacracker said...

Actually, I agree. Whenever it rains will be okay, just as long as it does and there is lots of it.

Likes2mtnbike said...

Uh, Peking ducks?

Floridacracker said...

Nah, something different.

Puffstitch said...

They look like the ducks that we've had come to our little pond out back, here in Parrish Florida.
We found them on the web, they're called 'black bottomed whistleing ducks' and they're from Texas and Arizona. I think that the hurricane's of last year may have drove them south to Florida and they stayed. Below is the site where my picture of these ducks are found.

Hick said...

Yahoo with the clam farming. For some reason I thought you had to herd clams to get them to go into the bucket. But I'm not too particular about how they arrive on my plate...I love them just the same.

Floridacracker said...

You know, I thought they might be one of the whistling ducks...


Herding that would be clam ranching not clam farming.
"Get Along Little Quahoggies, Get Along"
These Cedar Key Sweets are the most succulent clams ever. I'm not the least bit biased towards things Floridian either...