There were several glossy ibis flying over the rookery in late March. I’m not sure if they were nesting yet since they nest in the far back hidden part of the rookery. The color of their feathers really popped against the sun as they flew by.
Tricolored herons were still flirting. They nest later than the great egrets and wood storks.
A great egret showing off.
Yes, that’s an almost grown cormorant with his entire face down his Dad’s throat. He was trying to get the fish that Dad was regurgitating for him. I think he still wanted more.
A wood stork showing off his underneath green feathers.
There were so many wood stork babies here.
That fish was way to big for the baby to swallow. The parent realized that pretty quickly and didn’t want it to go to waste so down the hatch it went.
I made a road trip back to the bird rookery in north Tampa in late March. The noise was so loud from all of the baby birds screaming to be feed. The little spoil island in the pond was full of babies. Although this great egret above looks like he’s still flirting.
There were baby egrets from just a few days old to several weeks old.
The tricolored herons were still sitting on eggs.
This Mom was shading her baby wood storks from the sun.
This was the youngest wood stork baby I could see and it had a tiny fish in his beak.
This Mom had no rest with all of these babies.
It looks like the older baby got the big fish this time. It took him a while to get it down.
Great egrets were still bringing sticks back to the nests.
The baby muscovy ducks I had seen here weeks ago were almost grown now.
It was late February and I was going to be near north Tampa so I threw my camera in the car and stopped by the rookery before heading home. The nice thing about this one is that I can park on the side of the road and step out and start taking pictures. I knew it was too early for any babies but wanted to see how the nesting was going. There were tons of woods storks on the rookery and on the side of the pond.
They were all busy flying in and out of the rookery. I love how they hover with their landing gear down.
Most were busy getting sticks for the nest. You can really see the purple feathers in the top one.
There were a lot of couples and both were working on the nest. Many were already sitting on eggs.
The cutest little muscovy duck family came swimming by, staying close to Mom.
I caught this squirrel sitting on a small palm tree outside our window. He had his cheeks full of fuzz from the tree and I was able to snap the top shot. When he took his paws and folded the fuzz up I was happy to get more shots. He was so cute. He jumped from the palm tree over to the oak tree and took off up the tree. I can see a half built nest up there but it’s really not nesting season since it’s getting colder (I know they nest all year round here in central Florida but it’s rare to see them starting a family in early November.)
In early October I caught one of my neighborhood eagles eating something on top of the light pole. I’ve been seeing the couple often cruising around the neighborhood but I haven’t seen them hanging on the nest that they used last year yet.
Birds near the eagles nest include several loggerhead shrikes and some young starlings.
Looking out the window during Hurrincane Nicole, I could see a lot of ibis feeding in the newly formed pond.
Some of the regulars (wood stork and spoonbill) that hang out in the ditch along the golf course.
A juvenile night heron sits alone at the front of the rookery. He’s been there on my last 2 visits. They nest deep in the bushes so I can’t see them as little babies.
A snowy egret still flirting.
The cormorants and anhingas nest high up inthe cypress trees so it’s a little harder to see those young babies. As they get older the bigger babies end up down on the rookery and Mom feeds them there. The top one is a cormorant. They have orange curved beaks and hook their fish. The middle shot are both anhingas (male on the left in all black and the female on the right has a brown chest and neck). They have pointed beaks and stab their fish. The juveniles with the great egret in the bottom shot are both anhingas.
A female grackle getting some bugs. They also nest deep in the bushes.
A wood stork getting a drink in the pond.
I saw a tricolored heron fly over to the top of a tree away from the rookery. She’s got food in her beak and she’s trying to get her young one to fly over to be fed. She was yelling at the baby to fly across the pond to her to get food instead of her bringing it to the baby.
The baby eventually flew over and got his meal.
All of the tricolored heron babies that I saw were almost fully grown. They all had their adult colors in their feathers but they still had those baby spikes on the top of their heads and were still squawking for food.
Wood storks and great egrets were flying into the bird rookery in north Tampa non-stop in late May. They were bringing more nesting material but mostly food for all of those screaming babies. It was loud to stand there in the late afternoon as those big growing babies were ready to eat. And they let everyone know it.
There were still a lot of young wood storks honking for food.
The almost grown baby great egrets were really aggresive. These parents have a tough job. Getting fish, then swallowing that fish, then regurgitating it back up to feed the baby.
If you look closely at the beaks you can see fish parts coming down from the parent’s beak and into the baby’s beak. All while big brother is trying to get a bite as well. That does not look yummy.
Even after they are fed, they still yell for more food.
I headed up to the bird rookery in north Tampa in early April. I knew it was a little too early for a lot of babies but it was a nice afternoon out and this is an afternoon shoot spot since the sun comes up across the lake in the morning. Great egrets were in all stages of nesting. Some had eggs, some had small babies and some looked like they were still flirting and working on nests.
There were at least 2 nests up front with baby wood storks. They look so pretty when they are babies with that orange beak and blue around their eyes. Woods storks are listed as a threatened species since their numbers are still small and are vulnerable to changing water levels. We are fortunate that they are a common bird in the Tampa bay area. I see them at many of the parks I visit as well as in the ponds in my neighborhood.
Birds were busy flying in and out of the rookery, bringing food to the babies and adding sticks to the nest. I was able to catch a great egret and a tricolored heron going by.
A tricolored heron was picking up sticks from the water and bringing them back to a hidden nest.
A rare thing to see in the Tampa bay area. It looks like some glossy ibis have been nesting here in the last few years. The nest is on the back side of the island so I haven’t seen any babies yet. For a long time I only saw them at Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland but I’ve seen a few here lately.