Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gatorland Bird Rookery

This past May I went to Gatorland. I didn't have any desire to go to an alligator attraction but I heard there was an unusual bird rookery there. The big alligator lake had mangroves all along the boardwalk and big wild water birds were coming there to breed.

Brett and I got up early one Saturday and drove over to Orlando. We got there when it opened at 9am. We walked straight back to the boardwalk. I thought we'd be one of the few people there that early. Coming around the corner there were at least 15 guys there already taking pictures with their big guns (big cameras, big lenses, big tripods). I found out later you can buy a photo pass to get in as early as 7am.

The mangroves were filled with birds: cattle egrets, great egrets, blue, tri-colored and great blue herons. I heard there were spoonbills (didn't see any). There were so many babies, from months old to days old. The parents were busy feeding them. It was very loud with all those babies crying. If you're into birds it's a great spectacle to see.

The alligators were fun to see as well. You can feed them and wrestle with them (we did neither). They had parrots, snakes and a few other animals. It was a fun morning.

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