The wild cattle egrets at Gatorland had come in to the mangrove bushes along the alligator exhibit to nest. They were sporting their breeding bright colors around their face and beaks. They were busy flirting and chasing each other and were very comical to watch.
Many were bringing sticks back to the nest that they had secured.
This couple had been flirting all morning.
This couple had already built a nest in the bushes and were ready to get busy. Nesting season was in full swing in mid-April when I spent the morning at the park in Orlando.
I just recently noticed this sign that was posted at the entrance to the bird rookery.
The Flamingo Gardens near Ft. Lauderdale takes in a lot of permanently injured animals to live their lives out here. As I was walking around the aviary this pelican came right up to me as if to say “Come hang out with me.”. It looked like he had an injured wing.
A barred owl with a missing eye.
A few other birds in the aviary.
The white pelicans had very distinctive faces.
The pelicans were nesting and swimming around.
A pretty cattle egret posing for me.
All taken in the permanent injured aviary.
I’ve been recently posting a lot of older pictures on Instagram. If you are over there you can find me at @dinaj1.
Northern shovelers aren’t extremely rare in the Tampa bay area but I haven’t seen any in a long time. There were 2 couples close the edge of the water at Largo Nature Preserve in late January and they didn’t seem to mind me watching them. They look a lot like mallards but have that goofy big square bill.
Anhingas are like clowns. They have the funniest personalities, that is when they are not half asleep drying their wings out. They sway their head back and forth and honk when you walk by. The males have a black neck and the females have a brown or beige neck. I think that last one was yawning.
Egrets along the trail. A snowy, cattle and a great egret in the last one above.
Other birds along the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve in early January were a limpkin looking for food, a grebe doing his yoga stretch, a glossy ibis glowing in the sun and a hawk looking out over his domain.
And one of the hundreds of blue-gray gnatcatchers.
This little moorhen was walking along the trail with someone.
It was mid-May and birds were still gathering sticks for nests. All morning long they were flying back and forth from one set of bushes to another.
A sandhill crane flies over the park.
Wood storks were busy adding to their nests.
Cattle egrets were doing the same.
It’s always busy in the mornings at the bird rookery in Gatorland. Wild birds are still coming in to nest over the lake full of alligators. The mangroves were filled with nests in different stages. Some had parents still sleeping on eggs, some had newborn babies, some had almost adult babies still screaming to be feed. Lots of fun activities to take pictures of.
Some of the cattle egrets were sporting their bright “breeding” colors. You can see the difference with the younger cattle egrets that have the drab faces and the ones ready to mate with their bright pink and yellow beaks. Their legs are also bright pink.
An ibis doing a balancing act.
Across the street from the Pinellas county waste plant, there’s a small pond with a mangrove island in it. Before dark, a lot of the birds come here to sleep for the night. I stopped by there recently after work and birds were flying in to spend the night on the little island.