The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Alligator Farm - Part 3

Here are the final images from our recent visit to the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm.

A few more of the captive animals

Hooded Vulture

Cape Griffon Vultures

Giant tortoise

Albino Alligator

A few more of the wild birds

Little Blue Heron

Wood Stork gathering nesting material

Tricolored Heron

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.

Alligator Farm - Part 2

More images from the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm

Snowy Egret on nest

Snowy Egret chicks

Great Egret nests

Wood Stork

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

Cuban Crocodile

Golden Crocodile

The Indian Gharial has some wicked teeth!

Sulawesi Hornbill

Crested Crane

Marabou Stork

Scarlet Macaw

A couple of snakes

Alligator Farm - Part 1

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