Wild zoo babies

An almost grown great egret scratching. This one must be one of the first ones born at the zoo this spring. He still had just a little bit of baby fuzz on his head.

Very young little blue herons were waiting to be fed.

Baby little blue herons that were a little older but not yet flying.  They were in lots of different stages of growing up.

Screaming “Feed Me” in Mom’s ear.

Two baby great egrets still on the nest waiting for a parent to fly in with food.

My favorite part of Lowry Park  Zoo in Tampa is the bird rookery at the alligator exhibit. It’s much smaller than the one at Gatorland but it’s close to home.  The wild birds come in and nest right in front of the exhibit.  While all of the kids are oohing and aahing over the alligators I am busy trying to get shots of the baby birds.

Linking to Wednesday Around The World.

A few birds at Chesnut Park

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The usual titmouse were all over the park.

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Cardinal families were all over the park. Lots of very young ones born this spring. The young ones look scruffy with their adult feathers coming in.

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There were also Carolina wrens everywhere.

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The best find was the great crested flycatcher families. I saw two different ones at opposite ends of the park.  Both had juveniles that didn’t quite have their adult feathers in. I don’t see these often. They stayed high up in the trees and don’t get close to look for a handout like the resident birds do.

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Yummy fish for breakfast

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Young great egrets are being fed by mom. The parents swallow the fish and then regurgitate the fish back up into the baby’s beak. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

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A young cormorant was begging mom to feed him.

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The youngest babies at the park that day. They are 1 or 2 day old snowy egrets. The parents were going to be busy feeding 3 babies. You can just barely see the fish eyes coming out of the mom’s beak. Looks like she had a beak full of minnows.

All morning long the babies yell to be fed. The tiny ones like in the last pictures aren’t so bad since they are so small and don’t quite know what’s going on yet. The bigger babies such as the top great egret pictures are obnoxious. They are really loud and flap their wings until they are fed. When the parent flies over to the nest they attack them. The parents keep feeding them though. All of the above were from my trip to Gatorland in May.

They grow up so fast.

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Scruffy looking baby egrets. I think these were snowy egrets.

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Baby blue herons sticking close together.

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Baby anhingas already grown up.

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Tiny baby wood stork on the nest.

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Baby great egrets in various stages of growing up.

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I was watching this almost grown baby great egret exercising his wings. I don’t think he had fledged yet. He kept practicing flapping but never made it off the bush. He was probably gone in another day or so.

It’s fun watching the baby birds grow up in the bushes along the lake at Gatorland.  The trip in late May provided babies from all stages of growing up.

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Breakfast with Mom

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These moms go without a thanks or please.  Just constant screaming of “Feed Me”. When you first walk on the boardwalk at Gatorland, you can hear the baby birds loudly clacking and it echoes across the lake. Mom’s are busy feeding the babies. I think in the middle pictures, the snack is a frog.  The last several pictures, the snack is a lizard. I’m sure it’s a delicacy for them. For us, it would be like eating chocolate cake, except without a tail.

Babies after work.

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I stopped by the lake close by work for a quick walk before the rain came down. Half way around the lake I saw this black necked stilt.

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He stopped for a rest.

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A few feet over in the mud, there was another stilt with 3 babies.

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They must have only been a few days old.

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I sat on the grass behind a tree and watched them for a few minutes. The parent started to doze off and the kids were running around exploring.

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The lake was pretty dry and the babies were far out. These are all extremely cropped with my 300mm lens.

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Look at those muddy feet!

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The other parent flew in for a few minutes then took off again.

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Then he was back again after flying half way around the lake.

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Why does this parent have 6 legs?  Two of the babies were hiding underneath.

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One of the babies ventured back out and started walking around again.

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Then the other baby came out but stayed close to the parent.

I sat behind the tree for about half an hour and then the sun was going down behind the buildings. The joggers and dog walkers probably thought I was crazy. They didn’t realize I could see these tiny babies across the lake. I hope all 3 of them make it. There are alligators in this lake and hawks flying overhead. My plan is to check back in a few weeks.

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Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for 

 

A day in the life of a baby egret.

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The Three Stooges were very animated at Gatorland during my earlier trip in April. These baby great egrets were the most photographed nest on the day. Mostly, because they were so visible and the babies were constantly moving and checking things out. Not to mention how loud they were, constantly chirping for mom to feed them. The best thing was when they stretched their wings. You could see their pin feathers growing underneath. In the last picture, you can see how skinny the bones look. These babies still have a lot of growing to do before that first flight. Although, by now they are probably long gone.