St. Augustine, Florida ... gators and birds

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Charles Krebs
Posts: 5857
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:02 pm
Location: Issaquah, WA USA
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St. Augustine, Florida ... gators and birds

Post by Charles Krebs »

In St. Augustine Florida is the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Quite a place if you like crocodilians, as all 23 species of the worlds’ crocodilians are exhibited in individual habitats. I went down last week in search of birds. There is a section of the park that contains a rookery of wild birds. The birds like the area, and nest there year after year because the water beneath the nesting trees and vegetation is full of alligators. This means their eggs and young are safe from predators like raccoons approaching from the ground (but it's bad news for any chicks that fall out of the nest :shock:)

(Took a break from my ongoing "moving " saga. Look's like it will be at least a couple months before I get the macro and micro stuff set up in a new location. Thought I would post a few of these shots here as this is a great place to visit in early May.)


American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). This time of year is mating season and this big bull is "bellowing" to attrack the girls and warn away other males.
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Wood Stork (Mycteria americana). Flying in with a new stick for the nest. Good sticks are highly sought after in a rookery, and are often the source of contentiousness between neighbors.
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Great Egret (Ardea alba). Also coming in for a landing. It will be feeding the young with small fish that will be regurgitated.
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Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor). Very beautiful bird. A portrait as it sits near the nest waiting while it's partner sits on eggs.
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Mike B in OKlahoma
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:32 pm
Location: Oklahoma City

Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

Good for you, Charles! This is a place I've heard of, and always wanted to go to, but have never visited. I'd love to see the crocodilians, and of course the birds. You have some excellent work here of stuff you can see without a magnifying glass!
Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin

Planapo
Posts: 1533
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:33 am
Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

Post by Planapo »

This gator looks great, so slick, like being lacquered. And there's a great amount of fine and sharp detail recorded in the feathers and face of the stork, although he must have been moving quite quickly.

I googled this gator farm and corcodile zoo, definitely a place worth visiting. And I've already learned something new from the information they have on their website: I did not know that there are crocodiles (s. str.) in the Americas, had always thought t'was just gators and caimans, but now I know there are quite large American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus), with a range reaching up to the Southern tip of Florida. :shock: http://www.alligatorfarm.us/species_list.html

--Betty

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