Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nesting wild birds at Gatorland

I think it all starts here. The great egret gets that pretty bright green "I'm sexy" color on their face.

Then they grow the "I'm sexy" feathers and start doing the "look at me" dance.

Then they start "going steady" and become a couple.

Then "it" happens. There was a lot of it going on at Gatorland recently.

They work on the nest bringing sticks and twigs.

Then they become parents. This one only had one egg. 

This is a snowy egret with four eggs. They are going to be busy parents when they hatch.

Two weekends ago I made my first seasonal trip over to Orlando to check out the wild bird rookery at Gatorland.  The mangroves along the alligator exhibit are full of wild birds that fly in for the spring to have their babies here. Since the alligators keep away the raccoons, I guess the birds think it's pretty safe for them to build their nests over the alligators. Right now it's mostly great egrets, snowy egrets, anhingas and storks that are nesting with eggs. Soon the tri-colored and blue herons will move in and nest as well. There was only one nest that had hatched (more on those later) so I'm going to try and get back there in late April to check on the rest of the eggs.

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