Wading Bird Rookery at St. Augustine Alligator Farm
This is not an article about alligators. I photograph wildlife and animals as reference material for my paintings. In my quest for animals to photograph I have discovered some great wildlife photography locations. I talk about some of them and share some of my photos on my photos here.
As always, these photos may or may not be subjects of future paintings, but all subjects are available for commission paintings.
St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is a famous attraction in Florida. In addition to the man-made attractions, nature is helping out. Many species of wading birds nest in mass during the breeding season.
Please be sure to plan your visit based on the breeding times of the birds you want to see, otherwise you will not see them. The Alligator Farm website posts a schedule of the breeding activity at the rookery, or you can call them.
Newly hatched Tricolor Heron chick
The “Alligator Swamp” is a two-acre area with boardwalks and alligators. Many species of wading birds nest here. In addition to the species I saw and photographed Green Herons, Yellow Crowned Night Herons and Black Crowned Night Herons are sometimes known to nest in the park. These are all wild birds and they are not fed!
Woodstork bringing flowers to its nest
As you enter the rookery, birds are nesting in every tree. The boardwalk brings you right up close to the nests and the birds are not afraid of people. It is a bird photography paradise!
Snowy Egret displays its breeding plumage
This is a great opportunity to see up close native Florida birds doing what birds do.
Tricolor Heron chick with a fish
A special photography pass is available for a fee that allows you into the rookery an hour before the park opens and allows you to stay till dusk.
Little Blue Heron sits on blue eggs
For this article most of the pictures were taken with Nikon D850, Tamron 150-600mm F4.5-5.6 G2. One or two were taken with Nikon D810, Nikon 300mm F4 PF and 1.4x iii teleconverter. Photos were edited.
I saw Roseate Spoonbills, Woodstorks, Tricolor Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets and Little Blue Heron nesting in early May:
Little Blue Heron:
Boat Tailed Grackle: