More pretty birds at Gatorland

A snowy egret was showing off.

The snowy egrets and tricolored herons were sitting on eggs.

Getting a stick for the nest.

The never ending chore of grooming for great egrets. The last one still had his pretty green spring face on.

A tricolored heron and snowy egret were having a fight over a fishing spot.

Flamingo ready for a nap.

More wild birds at Gatorland coming in to nest at the bird rookery (the flamingo is a resident).  These were all taken in April.

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Pretty faces on the boardwalk.

Above are both great egrets. The first one an adult and the 2nd is almost grown up.

The snowy egrets were strutting around and flirting.

A tricolored heron sitting on a nest.

Other tricolored herons were still strutting around.

The beautiful face of a male anhinga.

A catbird was posing for everyone while he was eating the berries.

Lots of pretty wild birds on the boardwalk at Gatorland. Nesting season was in full swing. Many great egret babies and many eggs from snowy egrets and tricolored egrets. This was mid April so most of the babies are grown up and gone by now.

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Safe and sound on the boardwalk

Alligators have been in the press a lot lately with either attacks or sightings of a very large one. Yes, they are everywhere here. If there’s a small body of water, there a big chance there is one in there even though you can’t see it. I grew up coming to the Tampa Bay area to visit my grandparents. I never saw any wild alligators but I knew about them. We spent most of our time on the beaches anyway. My first time seeing one in the wild was at work when I first moved to Tampa. I looked out the window and one was sitting on the grass in the parking lot. Now I’ve gotten use to seeing them. I rarely see them move though. When I’m at Gatorland taking pictures of the wild baby birds, the alligators are active and swim around make their grunting noises. I’m up on an elevated fenced in boardwalk so I’m not too concerned. But look at those happy grins, don’t you just want to pet one??

Circle of Life.  Sometimes the birds get to close or to comfortable being too close and they become lunch. Hey, gators gotta eat too.

My annual trip to Gatorland to see the babies.

These are all great egret babies at various ages. I took a road trip over to Orlando for my annual visit to see the birds nesting in the bird rookery at Gatorland. The big lake at the park has a boardwalk full of nesting wild birds in the bushes. I got there early in the morning and the babies were all screaming for food. It was very loud. The older babies were flapping their wings and testing them out. I took tons of pictures so there will be more posts on this trip.

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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