The funny little Cattle Egret with all his beautiful colors.
I’ve lived in Central Florida almost 30 years now and am just now discovering some of the fabulous locations we have for bird photography. Gatorland, a small family owned theme park near Kissimmee, is one of those perfect places to go in the spring months when the rookery located over the alligator swamp is filled with breeding birds. The rookeries are a photographers paradise as the birds display vivid breeding colors. The lore (the skin around their eyes) become vibrant and they acquire long, elegant feathers. So I set off with a couple of other photography enthusiatists and we set out to practice our skills. What a lot a fun, I will definately be back.
Great Blue Heron
Tri-color Heron with beautiful blue lore and top-knot
Another tri-color heron
The cattle egrets were loud, boisterous and continually moving.
Great Egrets mating with bright green lores around their eyes.
Where’s my mama?
I’m surprised he didn’t take her eye out. Sorry for the twig in the way.
Trying to get every drop out of her!
These guys reminded me of the Three Stooges!
Anhinga chicks aren’t nearly so cute!
The alligators were also extremely active with lots of posturing and mating displays.
This big boy had his eyes on me. I’m not his type!
Got a big one! Probably not too good for his diet though.
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. Continue reading