St Augustine Alligator Farm

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The beautiful courtship display of the Great Egret.

We visited the St Augustine Alligator Farm which is one of the oldest zoos in America, having been founded in 1893.  This is a fun little attraction at any time, but in the spring it becomes spectacular when the rookery comes alive with thousands of mating birds. Native herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills and woodstorks seek the security of the alligator swamp to roost and raise their young because the alligators swimming below keep the tree climbing predators at bay. 

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Courtship display of male Great Egret with female on nest lying just below him.

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The Woodstorks were just starting their nest-building.

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The males do a beautiful dance to attract their mates.

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The dance was a success! Suddenly the female arrived join him after a beautiful performance.

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Some early chicks on the nest.

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The Roseate Spoonbills are preparing a nest.

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An early chick for these spoonbills, most of them were still building nests.

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Preening to attract a mate.

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Spoonbill contortion.

 

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The lace-like breeding plumage of the Great Egret.

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Great Egrets

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Golden Slippers

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Even the alligators put on a show. Lots of posturing and guttural bellows that made the water vibrate. Very cool.

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Some beautiful lemurs soaking up the sun and feeling the mood!

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He looks a little lonely. Maybe he’s looking for the penguins!

13 responses to “St Augustine Alligator Farm

  1. Michael Chernoby

    What a great place and just beautiful photos. I never knew it was there. Hope to be able to visit sometime.

    • sunandsandtravelers

      LOL, we had seen ads for years but didn’t know about the rookery until this year from some other photographer friends. It will be active until May/June.

  2. Wow. How cool that. What great pictures.

  3. Great images! I especially like the Wood Stork and the two Great Egrets in shadow. I did not know there were lemurs there. Penguins?

  4. Once again, beautiful photography Jean. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Oh, I missed the spoonbills! Where were they?

    • sunandsandtravelers

      The spoonbills we’re at St Augustine, didn’t see any at Gatorland. I think there was more variety of birds there and the light was better.

  6. 😊

  7. Wow Jean those are beautiful pictures. I’m not sure which one I like more.

  8. Jean, wow! What gorgeous photos and wonderful and picturesque descriptions!! I truly enjoyed my time with you! You’ll have to give me some blogging pointers!!

    • sunandsandtravelers

      Thanks Nancy! It was a lot of fun and we’ll have to do it again soon (either photography or blogging). 😀

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