Beyond the Backyard

Cloudy, Breezy Days are Great for Bird-Watching at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery

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This morning was cloudy, breezy, and great for getting outside! The birds at Gatorland’s Bird Rookery took longer to wake up, probably because the sun wasn’t shining as brightly as usual. The rookery was eerily quiet when I first got there, and then the babies started fussing as soon as the sun started to break through the clouds. As I arrived at the rookery, I saw the fledgling Swallow-tailed Kites in the pine trees near the entrance to the Swamp Walk. They were more intent on preening than posing. The cloudy skies and diffused light made for some great birdie portrait lighting. This Tricolored Heron fledgling ventured out onto this branch and then watched as other fledglings flew over him. The trees were covered in fledging Cattle Egrets. If you looked down into the branches, though, there are still plenty of nests under incubation. This baby peeked out at me through a “window” in the leaves. Nearby, this juvenile Cattle Egret was posing for me. Actually, he thought he was waiting patiently for his mother to return with breakfast (and he got excited anytime a grown Cattle Egret flew overhead!) – but he also posed nicely while he waited! The […]