Cattle egrets are beautiful birds when they are in their breeding colors.
This couple was hiding deep in the bushes. They were working on a nest. It’s interesting how one has a brighter beak than the other one. I just realized one has pink eyes and one has yellow eyes.
This one was bringing nest material over to his mate. His beak is not very bright.
Some of the cattle egrets were just hanging around.
This cattle egret had to be tired by the afternoon. He spent all morning bringing in sticks from across the pond.
Fluffing up. Maybe making himself look good for the ladies?
This one has more brown in his feathers but not as much pink in the beak.
A cattle egret during non-breeding season. No tan feathers and the beak is all yellow. His legs don’t have a pink tint to them either.
A shot of part of the boardwalk.
I always say I’m not going to stay at Gatorland too long. Go for a few hours and then head out somewhere else. The back gate opens at 7:30am during the bird breeding months on certain days. I get there at that time and usually don’t leave until after lunch. There’s so much action going on with babies being born, birds flying back and forth or fighting. Until around 10am, the boardwalk is pretty crowded. Everyone is usually pretty nice and we all huddle together to get the best angles. After 10 it usually quiets down and then it’s nice to just stand and take it all in. By noon, the birds are napping and I’m hungry so it’s time to leave. This trip I traveled light. I only took my 70-200mm lens and left my tripod and monopod at home. For most of the nests, you just don’t need a long lens. Only if you are shooting way across the lake and then you’d be shooting into the sun anyway. I took a gazillion pictures so more posts to follow.