Wading Bird Rookery at St. Augustine Alligator Farm

Wading Bird Rookery at St. Augustine Alligator Farm by Barry Levin (a.k.a. animalsbybarry, see also his previous guest posts here and here):

Roseate Spoonbill. In this rare shot the feathers on the leading edge of the wings are swept forward to act as airbrakes.

This is not an article about alligators. I photograph wildlife and animals as reference material for my paintings. You can see them at Animals by Barry.

In my quest for animals to photograph I have discovered some great wildlife photography locations. I talk about some of them and share some of my photos on my Roadrunner blog, and in this guest post. St Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is a famous attraction in Florida. In addition to the man-made attractions nature is helping out. Many species of wading birds nest in mass during the breeding season. Please be sure to plan your visit based on the breeding times of the birds you want to see, otherwise you will not see them. The Alligator Farm website posts a calendar of the breeding activity at the rookery, or you can call them

Newly hatched Tricolor Heron chick

The “Alligator Swamp” is a two-acre area with boardwalks and alligators. Many species of wading birds nest here. In addition to the species I saw and photographed Green Herons, Yellow Crowned Night Herons and Black Crowned Night Herons are sometimes known to nest in the park. These are all wild birds and they are not fed!

Woodstork bringing flowers to its nest

As you enter the rookery birds are nesting in every tree. The boardwalk brings you right up close to the nests and the birds are not afraid of people. It is a bird photography paradise!

Snowy Egret displays its breeding plumage

This is a great opportunity to see up close native Florida birds doing what birds do.

Tricolor Heron chick with a fish.

A special photography pass is available for a fee that allows you into the rookery an hour before the park opens and allows you to stay till dusk.

Little Blue Heron sits on blue egg.

For this article most of the pictures were taken with Nikon D850, Tamron 150-600mm F4.5-5.6 G2. One or two were taken with Nikon D810, Nikon 300mm F4 PF and 1.4x iii teleconverter
Photos were edited

Great Egret with the special feathers and green face that are only present in breeding season.

Great Egret with normal color and plumage.

I saw Roseate Spoonbills, Woodstorks, Tricolor Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets and Little Blue Heron nesting in early May

Roseate Spoonbills:

Tricolor Herons:

Great Egrets:


If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

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