Sunday, May 19, 2019
Here are the final images from our recent visit to the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm.
A few more of the captive animals
Cape Griffon Vultures
A few more of the wild birds
Little Blue Heron
Wood Stork gathering nesting material
Roseate Spoonbills interacting
Spoonbill chick being fed
Snowy Egrets in full mating display
More Great Egret chicks
The alligators below the boardwalk generally just lay around.
But they seem to have internal clocks that tell them feeding time is coming.
They get very active once a staff member starts tossing them food.
More images from the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm
Snowy Egret on nest
Great Egret nests
Mostly grown Great Egret chicks
Wood Stork nest with chicks
Great Egret in flight
Their very long necks are useful to Great Egrets for preening.
This tree was occupied mainly by Great Egrets and a few Wood Storks.
A view of the nests from below
The Alligator Farm also has a collection of crocodilians, birds and reptiles from around the world.
African Slender-snouted Crocodile
The Indian Gharial has some wicked teeth!
A couple of snakes
While we prefer to observe wildlife in the wild, the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm provides a unique situation. Because of the large number of alligators on the grounds, wild wading birds have discovered that the trees within the Alligator Farm are basically free from climbing predators. Every spring, the trees in the farm are filled with a variety of nesting birds, most within easy viewing and photography from a boardwalk. When we visited this time, the trees were a madhouse of nesting birds with a wide range of nest building stages and chick development.
A smile greeted us upon entry into the park.
When we first arrived, many of the larger male alligators were "bellowing". This low pitched rumble is created underwater, agitating the water around them. This behavior is believed to be for dominance and mating displays.
This is one of the main trees used for nesting next to the boardwalk.
Just a few of the alligators roaming under the trees and boardwalk
Great Egrets in breeding plumage
A fairly mature Roseate Spoonbill chick
Very young Little Blue Heron chicks
Snowy Egret with chick
Roseate Spoonbill chicks in their nest
Adult Roseate Spoonbills
Great Egret with young chicks
Cattle Egrets in breeding plumage
Tricolor Herons were just starting nest building and egg laying.
A Roseate Spoonbill "hanging out" on its nest