Juvenile snowy egret sitting on a post.
Two adult snowy egrets fighting in trees. Could be a territorial dispute, or maybe she just has a headache.
Juvenile male cardinal just starting to get his red feathers.
I didn’t see him catch the bird. I heard splashing around in the water and turned around and saw this. An alligator had gotten a bird and other alligators were thinking about trying to steal it from him.
The alligator swam off away from the other alligators but came pretty close to the boardwalk.
This was another alligator I saw just as he was swallowing. You can just barely see one last feather hanging out of his mouth.
On my last trip to Gatorland in Orlando back in mid-May, the alligators were very active. I guess it’s the heat that had finally set in. Mating season is just starting up for them. They are well fed at the park but occasionally the wild birds get too close and the alligators do what they are born to do. This trip I saw it happen twice. It’s sad because those birds could have babies waiting for them to bring back food to the nest. There are hundreds of nest along the boardwalk and across the lake and I’m sure the park doesn’t take roll to see who is missing. They will just let nature take it’s course. These are wild birds that come to nest near the alligators because the alligators keep other predators away such as raccoons and snakes. But there are risks. By now, most of the baby birds have grown up and are leaving the nests so I probably won’t make it back to Gatorland (or as I like to call it “Birdland”) until next spring.