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Florida Rookery


Kongo returned to the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine on Sunday to visit its famous swamp rookery. This 4-acre preserve is home to a wide variety of species that include spoonbills, herons, all kinds of egrets, storks, and others. From February till June you can see the nest building, mating rituals, nesting, newborn chicks, and fledgling birds getting ready to head out on their own.

A wood stork gathers nesting material

Kongo was hoping for a nice day and plenty of wading bird activity. He wasn’t disappointed! There were hundreds of wading birds and a constant cacophony of bleating cries from new hatchlings hungry for another meal. Mothers and fathers had their hands full rushing back and forth with food, building nest additions to accommodate their growing brood, and tending eggs yet to hatch.

A Roseate Spoonbill watches its nest
A pair of Roseate Spoonbills.
A mother Wood Stork with young hatchlings
A Great Egret and its young in the nest

Over an area the Farm calls its rookery swamp is a wooden trail that enables visitors to get up close and personal to the birds. Beneath the walkway are dozens of alligators.

There were also a couple dozen birders and photographers in attendance as well. For a brief moment, the monkey thought that he had wandered into a Canon convention and it was hard to get around without tripping over somebody’s tripod.

A Tri-colored Heron minds her nest eggs
A Wood Stork in flight

You can learn all about the Alligator Farm at its website

Besides the birds, there are always the alligators!

Travel safe.  Have fun..

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