Great Egret Family at Gatorland

A Great Egret with two chicks in a nest at Gatorland in Orlando, Florida
Great Egret and Chicks at Gatorland

The summer months are slow ones for bird photography in the Pacific Northwest. The seabirds, ducks, geese, swans–and to some extent even the bald eagles–have migrated elsewhere for the summer and it’s hard to find interesting subjects to photograph.

So I’m going back through my photos from the winter and spring to remind myself of the fun that awaits later in the year when the birds return from summer vacation.

The shot above is from a trip to Orlando, Florida, last March. There I visited Gatorland, a sort of Alligator “theme park” where you can see a variety of alligators and crocodiles and an amazing array of birds. Birds build their nests above the alligator breeding marsh as the birds’ predators don’t want to get close to the alligators and crocs.

Gatorland has a great Photographers Pass that’s available between the months of early February and mid-June. The pass gets you into the park at 7:00 AM Thursdays through Sundays and provides an opportunity to photograph the birds with pleasant early morning light and before it gets too hot.

During my visit I was able photograph several Great Egret families that included young chicks like the ones in the photo above. In some cases the birds were so close to the boardwalk that I had to back my 400 mm zoom lens all the way back to 80 mm.

Other birds that I photogaphed included Snowy Egrets, Anhinga, Wood Storks, Black Vultures and Tricolored Herons. If you like to see or photograph interesting birds I highly recommend a visit to Gatorland.

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