Visited the famous St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery April 15, 16, and 17. It is a great place to view and photograph Florida’s herons, egrets, and other nesting birds at close range. It is also challenging to find good compositions among the sticks and foliage. Nesting spoonbills were new to me this year but their nests were deep in the branches and I could not get a clear shot. I concentrated on photographing the colorful breeding plumage of the birds and practiced a little flight photography. During breeding season, herons and egrets can have dramatic color changes in their eyes, bills, feet and lores (the skin between the eye and bill). They also develop long plums of feathers used in displaying. I especially like the Cattle Egrets, a common small plain white bird with a pale yellow bill. They really transform during breeding season, showing off intense red, yellow, purple and tan colors.
Nature is not kind. Note that one photo is showing two Great Egret chicks frantically stabbing at an intruding adult that was intent on killing them and stealing their nest. The chicks won the battle this time.