The clown babies at Gatorland.

For some reason, the tricolored herons seem to be the last birds to nest at the bird rookery at Gatorland. Maybe they take over great egret nests once they are finished using them.  There were a few nests that had older babies including the ones above.

Some were just a few days old.

Some of the older ones still being fed by parents.

These triplets, who were growing up in a nest on a palm tree right up against the boardwalk, were pretty funny to watch. They are so comical at this age. These were all taken during my last visit in late May.

Different things at Gatorland

Many of the birds were still sitting on eggs at the bird rookery at Gatorland in Orlando in mid-May.

Some were still flirting.

Lots of different wild birds hanging out at the park including the great egret above that stole a hot dog from an alligator. You can feed the alligators here but half of the time the birds get the food quicker.

Pretty peacock.

The youngest baby birds at the rookery that morning. The baby snowy egrets were probably only a few days old.

The gators were getting frisky.

Seeing a baby gator up close.

This guy was taking a break before the crowds were on the boardwalk.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Going crazy for breakfast.

These 2 almost fully grown snowy egrets were going crazy when Mom showed up with breakfast. She sat there for a few minutes before feeding them and they kept trying to climb over to her.

Eventually she was ready to pass the fish over to them. Mom brings the food in her mouth and then passes it over. I’m surprised eyes don’t get poked out.

The sibling was screaming for food next so off she went to get another fish. At this point the babies are big enough to leave alone. They don’t really stay on the tiny nest but hang out in the branches close by. These guys were probably flying pretty soon after I took these at Gatorland,

Cute little baby bird

While I was at Gatorland in early May, I kept seeing this tiny bird hopping around in the bushes behind me on the boardwalk. It was a baby blue-gray gnatcatcher. Mom was close by but stayed farther into the bushes. These guys usually move around so fast but the baby was posing for me nicely. Most people come to the bird rookery here to get pictures of the big waders including egrets and herons but if you look closely you can see some of the little songbirds as well.

Beautiful birds but a sad ending

Tricolored herons are always fun to watch. They are really pretty when they are ready to mate. I mean, how many other animals have their legs turn from gray to bright pink in the spring?

Snowy egrets are always making a fuss.

The great egrets were also showing off with those red eyes.

This is a sad story but happens in nature. There was a nest near the boardwalk with three almost grown babies that had apparently been abandoned by the parents. Maybe something happened to the lone parent? Meanwhile, a mean adult snowy egret decided it wanted that nest instead of building her own and she was going to steal it from the babies. She spent all morning trying to push the babies off the nest. One had been poked in the face and was bleeding. The sad thing is that if the original parents did not come back, those 3 babies were probably going to starve. They are too young to feed themselves. They were sticking together and fighting off the intruder. She eventually left that morning but may have come back later to try again. Gatorland won’t interfere because it’s common for this to happen in nature. I’ve seen it happen before in a park where we couldn’t reach the nest. It’s a tough life out there for these birds.