Saturday, February 20, 2010

Great egrets nesting

Doing a mating dance.

Sitting on the nest. There aren't any babies yet but they will be coming soon.

These two egrets were courting each other for a while.

Egrets were busy getting sticks for their nests.

Saturday morning I went to Gatorland. Not to see the alligators, although there will be pictures of those coming. Bird nesting season has started there. They have a bird rookery there that is amazing during this time through spring. The mangroves along the boardwalk were full of great egrets (who apparently are the first type of these birds to nest). Last year I went in early May and the place was full of tricolor herons and blue herons with babies. During mating season great egrets get bright green color around their beaks that you don't see in the summer and fall. They do these strange mating dances that are fun to watch. The rookery was buzzing with egrets gathering sticks, flying around getting food and fixing their nests. They nest there because they seem to know that the alligators in the lake below will keep the raccoons from getting their eggs. I plan to go back in late March to see if any babies have hatched.

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