It's been almost a year since I first visited the St. Augustine Alligator Farm…I hadn't intended to go back, due to the entry fee plus having to see all those penned gators, but a friend invited me to go with her and a few of her friends, with lunch afterwards, and I couldn't resist. We all went to see the activity at the rookery, not the gators….
I considered it extremely lucky to witness these two roseate spoonbills performing the "mutual pair display" as Stokes Field Guide to Birds puts it. They rub bills and present sticks to one another. These two are under three years old (imm.)
…This is an adult roseate spoonbill…you can see the difference in its coloring.
…Another adult roseate spoonbill, taking a dip and fishing…very brave, considering the base of the rookery is 90% pond and crawling with gators.
There were only a few hatchlings in nests, all of them great egrets…the chicks sure look prehistoric, don't they?!
This great egret was busy displaying…
A snowy egret enjoying "alone" time…as much as possible in a small area covered in nesting shore birds…the call of the snowy egret sounds like Daffy Duck trying to blow bubbles!
Another pensive snowy egret, this one with the red breeding facial skin.
Last year, I only saw one cattle egret and couldn't get a decent photo. This year, there was a small handful of cattle egrets in one tree, but still hard to get a decent shot.
There were a few tri-colored herons…I can't help but wonder if some or most of these birds nest in the same spot each year...
The wood storks all nest in one large tree in the rookery…the tree is covered in birds, but I managed to single out this one stork. Last year, I didn't get any decent shots of them.