Flirting at the local watering hole

The snowy egrets were showing off and flirting.

The little blue herons were doing the same thing.

Some of the other birds were also showing off with their breeding faces.

The turtles were watching all of the action.

Even the cormorants were flirting and chasing each other high up in the trees.

Unlikely pair in the same tree, a wood stork and an osprey.

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Getting ready to deliver some babies

There’s a small pond in north Tampa that has an island in the middle of it that turns into a bird rookery in the spring. Wild wood storks, great egrets, cattle egrets and herons nest here. The afternoon I stopped by in late March, the wood storks were busy building nests. They were flying back and forth to the woods across the street and bringing branches back to the nests. The storks seemed to take the task very seriously.

One of them stopped to get a drink of water and then decided to take a bath before heading back to the rookery and shaking off.

Flights were taking off and landing non-stop the hour I was there. I love watching the wood storks, They seem like kind old gentle souls moving slowly.

Nesting season in full swing.

It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow and these birds are about to be very busy moms.

There were a few babies in the far back of the wood stork rookery in north Tampa in late March. You can barely make out the fuzz in the back nest. I was a little early for babies but was in the area so I stopped by for a quick visit.

Many of the wood storks were still fighting over nesting spots.

Many were still bringing in sticks to add to the nest.

A few great egrets were also looking for sticks.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms out there.

Watching baby egrets growing up.

Baby egrets at varies ages all trying to learn how to use their wings. It’s cool how you can really see the outline of their wings and the pin feathers when they are that young.

Older baby egrets were attacking mom when she came back to the nest to feed them. Mom regurgitates the fish back up into the baby’s beak. The babies don’t have much patience to wait their turn and they all attack her at the same time. It’s amazing an eye doesn’t get poked.

Dirty beaks

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Flying back and forth from the nest, the wood stork parents stay busy keeping the nests neat and bringing in food.

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The parents of these triplets were busy feeding them. All three of the babies looked healthy. I did notice they all had dirty beaks.

More from the wood stork rookery in north Tampa during my stop in early June.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters