May 11, 2014

At the Rookery ~ Part 1

Happy Mother's Day! In honor of the occasion, I'm posting the first in a series of photos taken Thurs. I had a mostly wonderful visit to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm…not really a farm…well they do seem to raise gators but…it's more like a zoo…and while I admit it was kinda cool to see an albino gator….

I must make the disclaimer that I do NOT advocate such a set-up in the least. It seemed that there were too many gators in too small of spaces, a sad situation…plus some exotic birds in cages, much to my dismay…..

BUT, I was there to see the rookery, listed on the Great Florida Birding Trail…in one area there is a small swampy-looking "pond" for smaller gators to swim around in, with a small loop boardwalk for visitors. All around this secured pond were trees, covered in nesting water birds…the birds love this spot due to the gators…what predator would dare venture in for a tasty egg or hatchling?! Yep, none. Unless it had a death wish...

Today's post is all about the most exciting discovery, the roseate spoonbills! Not a lifer, but my first closeup look at one, for sure...

The star of the bird nerd world was this pretty mama…she had not ONE…

…Not TWO…

…Not THREE….but FOUR chicks! Can you see the 4th at her feet? I sure hope he didn't get smushed! And what is he doing down there below the others? 

Ooph! Meal Time….

There were a few other spoonbills at the rookery, but not that many…
This one, as pale pink as it is, and having feathers yet on its head, would be an immature...

Another mama feeding a youngster….

A spoonbill flying in to the rookery.

Stay tuned for more species from this visit….


  1. Hi Jann. I'm definitely not keen on Gators but I'd kill (so to speak) for those views of the Spoonbills.

  2. I always wondered what a Spoonbill chick looked like. They are such beautiful birds....and I'm glad they nest for you to capture their images. Thanks for sharing your world.

    1. Frank, the boardwalk above the gators was quite sturdy and had a solid railing thankfully.

      Chris, You're most welcome! I'm so glad I was able to share something new with you!

  3. Oh joy! There is just something about Spoonbills. I can never get enough of them when I visit Florida. How fortunate you were to see the youngsters. Sweet! Wonderful photographs, Jann!