Friday, April 16, 2010

Florida Theme Park Birding: Gatorland

Snowy and Great Egrets, Gatorland, Orlando, FLA

This year there would be no special Florida birding excursions, just theme parks, so I thought I would make the best of it. Lily and I stopped at Gatorland ("Orlando's best half-day attraction") on the way to the hotel. Not to see gators (though Lily was thrilled) but to check out the rookeries that are increasingly part of Gatorland's sales pitch.

Open air attractions will inevitably attract interlopers, leading to some interesting combinations, such as this flamingo-black vulture group below.

It also means you can get super close-ups of what are technically wild birds:
Black Vulture

Wood Stork

Boat-tailed Grackle

Little Blue Heron and Cattle Egret

Gatorland promotes rookeries, not just roosts, so you can also see some interesting behavior, such as these cormorants greeting each other.

Or this egret caring for a clutch of eggs.

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