The St. Augustine Alligator Farm’s bird rookery had a record-breaking four Roseate Spoonbill nests this spring. Two sets of chicks hatched a few weeks ago, but they are not visible from the boardwalk. The other two nests hatched last weekend, and the little guys are so cute!
Dyeyo and I watched and waited for the babies to wake up, and we were rewarded for our patience by getting to watch Mama feed the babies. The nest is easy to see (in the mulberry bush by the spotting scope), but there are lots of branches in the way of a good photograph. I liked this pose with the baby’s beak next to the mother’s.
There’s another nest on the opposite side of the boardwalk. The babies in that nest are smaller, and they don’t pop up as much. I was happy to get this shot:
A lot of the baby birds are fledglings now, wandering from their nests and posing at the tops of trees. There were Tricolored Heron fledglings everywhere. Dyeyo says the baby birds are more interesting, but the fledglings sure pose prettier!
We saw a Snowy Egret nest with eggs, so the hatching isn’t quite over. This nest had tiny babies, who were happy to eat the fish that their mother offered them for breakfast.
There were Wood Stork nests all over. The babies are pretty big. You can distinguish the adults from the babies because the babies have orange beaks and the adults have black beaks. (The babies are also cuter than the adults!)
I had fun zooming in for head shots of the Wood Stork juveniles.
Dyeyo’s and my favorite nest of the day was this Cattle Egret nest. The sun was peaking through and the babies were active. It’s too bad the big branch was in the way!
I got some fun close-ups of breakfast time.
As we left the Rookery, I had to stop and take pictures of the Galapagos turtles for Rich. (I get in trouble if I don’t bring home at least one turtle picture!) So here you go, Rich…
Want to learn more about nature photography at Alligator Farm?
Check out my Alligator Farm 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!