ST AUGUSTINE | PONTE VEDRA BEACH
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Photographers visiting the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park are astounded by the vast number of photographic opportunities provided by the hundreds of nesting wading birds. As a member of the Great Florida Birding Trail, this accredited zoo has been selected for its excellent bird watching and bird education opportunities.
In the mid 1970’s the Alligator Farm expanded its Native Swamp exhibit and inadvertently developed an outstanding natural bird rookery. A winding boardwalk allows for the rare opportunity to view wild nesting birds at extremely close distances, at times literally within arm’s reach. Since the swamp was expanded, it has grown to become one of the most accessible natural bird rookeries in Florida.
The two-acre exhibit is home not only to American alligators, American crocodiles and native turtles, but many different species of wading birds. Twelve species frequent the swamp, with eight of those nesting and producing young. Great egrets, Roseate spoonbills, and the endangered Wood stork are the first to arrive, followed by Snowy egrets, Tri-colored and Little Blue herons, and lastly, the Cattle egrets. Green herons choose nesting spots deep within the trees in the Land of Crocodiles. The nesting season begins in late February and lasts through July. During the peak season, in May, birds can be photographed in all stages of nesting: displaying, incubating, and the raising of their young.
Along with the collection of valuable migratory bird data and the admiration by the staff and visitors of these spectacular wading birds, the Alligator Farm also participates in supporting conservation programs. Among our favorites are the USFW Wood Stork Recovery Program and Audubon of Florida’s Roseate Spoonbill Banding Project.
NO instruction | Early Access
NO PHOTO PASS REQUIRED
(Meeting Location: St. Augustine Alligator Farm, 999 Anastasia Blvd.)
Difficulty Level: Undemanding
SATURDAY 6:30 TO 8 A.M.
Min/Max No People: 5/30