I spent a few hours at the Gatorland Bird Rookery this morning before going into work. I wanted to check on my little double-crested cormorant that I saw hatch five days ago. As usual, I had a great time taking pictures of all the baby birds. :)
As I walked in from the early entry gate, I went over to say good morning to the green heron chicks, who were sunning themselves at the Papyrus Island. It’s a shame that their nests are hidden inside the branches; it would have been fun to see them when they were smaller.
Up in the observation tower, I was amazed to see how much my little double-crested cormorants had grown in the past five days! They were begging their mom for food and she kept trying to tuck them under her wing.
I thought the babies were kinda ugly, actually. Their little featherless heads and bodies have a very rough texture to them.
I noticed some movement in this nest, peeked in, and saw this little tri-colored heron. He was bobbing his head around and he looks like he hatched pretty recently. He was the only hatchling in the nest; his brothers and sisters are still in their eggs.
In another tri-colored heron nest, the babies are a little bigger. It’s a nest right next to the boardwalk, very easy to photograph! The chicks were moving all over the place, but for a couple of seconds they all looked at the camera and posed. Say “fish for breakfast, please!”
Here’s another view of that nest, with the mother keeping watch over her babies.
The snowy egrets tend to sit tight on top of their babies, rarely sitting up to let eager photographers see the cute babies underneath. I finally got a few glimpses of these guys.
As I was leaving, I noticed a photographer by the pond near the Papyrus Island. When I asked Mike what was over there, he let me climb the fence and go see the baby limpkins that were feeding at the edge of the pond. They were so cute!! There were two adults and five babies. The adults would pull shellfish from the pond, then take them to the shore for the babies to eat.
The babies were such fun to watch as they ran around. They were pretty good little swimmers, too!
So Dyeyo, that’s what a baby limpkin looks like…nothing like a least sandpiper! ;-)
Want to learn more about nature photography at Gatorland Rookery?
Check out my Gatorland Rookery page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!