“Don’t poke my eye out”

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More pictures from my stop at the bird rookery in north Tampa back in June. These are all great egrets. Most of the baby egrets were already grown up and almost as big as the adults. They were still being fed by their parents and most were probably flying soon after I took these pictures. The babies, even though they look fully grown, still have a little bit of fuzz on the top of their heads. They are very aggressive when the parents fly in to feed them. I feel bad for them having to regurgitate fish up to feed to the screaming kids who look like they are trying to attack them.

Baby blues at the zoo

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Looking all grown up, this baby blue heron is probably only a few weeks old.

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Mom is close by and they want to be fed.

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Constant yacking!

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This one is still too young for the parent to leave the nest. Maybe a few days to a week old. They were farther back in the alligator exhibit.

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This is the teeny tiny nest I showed a couple of weeks back with a blue heron sleeping on it high up in the tree. There are three babies on it now. One is sleeping on the left.

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Mom showed up a few minutes later and they all woke up.

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This slightly older baby was climbing around in the bushes. Looking to get into trouble.

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A face only a mother could love!

The alligator exhibit at Lowry Park zoo in Tampa has a small bird rookery around it. The great egrets nest first high up in the big tall oak trees. Those babies were already grown up and gone when I stopped by in early May. Now blue herons are nesting. A few nests had babies and a few still had the parents sitting on eggs. It’s a much smaller, scaled down version of the bird rookery at Gatorland but it’s really close to where I live to it’s easy to drop in and check to see what’s begging for food. There was one tricolored heron nest with babies and I was able to catch them feeding. More on those later.

Check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for

Beautiful profiles

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“I’m the prettiest one here.” says the cattle egret.

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A young snowy egret. He still has those spikey baby feathers on top.

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Almost full-grown baby egret. Looking at life flying by.

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Snowy egret adult with the pink breeding colors around his beak. This one must still be looking for some action.

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Two young great egrets.

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Beautiful male anhinga. There  was a lot of nest building still going on with the anhingas.

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Another beautiful face. Cattle egrets were just starting to nest.

There’s a cycle at the bird rookery in Gaterland. The great egrets start nesting first.  Then the tricolored heron, anhingas, storks and cormorants are next. The great egret babies are almost grown by the time the tricolored herons babies are hatching. The cattle egrets usually bring in the rear. There were no cattle egret babies born yet on my 2nd spring visit to Gatorland in late April. A few were sitting on eggs but most were still just flirting and building nests. The snowy egrets start almost as early as the great egrets. Any time you go between late March and late May you find babies. Just different ones.  There were so many birds hanging around the boardwalk. It’s hard not to take tons of pictures of their faces.

Funniest babies at Gatorland

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A tricolored heron mom standing up and checking on her eggs.

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New tricolored babies just a few days old. I could barely see them in the bushes but they were loud.

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These babies win the prize for the funniest babies at Gatorland. They have the funniest expressions and crazy feathers sticking out everywhere.

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Siblings

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“Mom, hurry up with that fish!”

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“Whadya laughing at lady?”

The best part of the bird rookery at Gatorland is the baby tricolored herons. Those faces are so funny. There were only a few nests with babies on my second trip in early May. There were still a lot of nests with eggs though. These babies are loud! Once they are old enough to start moving around away from the nest they are even funnier to watch. Always squabbling with each other. I think one more trip before the baby season is over is in the plan.

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