A White Wonder


During my short working trip to Florida, I was able to make a stop by Gatorland in Orlando before getting to the airport for my return flight. I had heard that there was a marsh area that was teeming with wildlife along the gator park. The Gatorland Bird Rookery was built in 1961 as an alligator breeding marsh, and the local bird life discovered a perfect place to set up home.

Since I missed an opportunity to get to explore with Feygirl of Serenity Spell in her marsh, the Gatorland rookery would have to be a distant second. Mid-January and the Great White Egrets where in the middle of breeding season.

This is when these majestic white birds are in their full glory. With elegant feathers delicately spread out for full display.


It is the man’s job to build the nest to attract his mate so that they can raise some little baby Great Egrets.


Sometimes his best laid efforts may be critiqued by his chosen mate. This female Great Egret really had something to say to her partner. Clearly she was squawking about something that she wasn’t pleased about.


Her little sweetheart came back to the nest and tried the lovey dovey approach. Surely his handsomeness will appease her ruffled feathers.


But she would have none of it and kept squawking away. He had enough of her nagging, and rather vexed flew off to find some peace and quiet.


It was such an incredible experience to walk the walkway of Gatorland’s Bird Rookery. These birds are just feet away from the boardwalk and are very accustomed to people walking past them. Gatorland offers Photographer passes that allow then early entry and full day access to the park. I met another photographer who travel from Massachussetts to photograph the easily accessible wildlife at the park.

It’s not a large park and is easily navigible. Of course, they now have zip lines over the alligator pits that have my name written all over it. Next visit !

41 replies »

    • It was really incredible and wish I had more time. Another nest had eggs, so I wish I lived closer so that I could go back and see the little fledglings.
      Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you back soon. Bella

  1. Fantastic Emily! Love seeing these magnificent birds in their breeding plumage and the green lores on their face!
    I love the guy with the twig in his mouth for nest material!

    • You wouldn’t believe this place Rebecca ! The birds where right there. In fact, I reached out and touched one gently that was standing on the boardwalk handrail. You’d have to be terrible with a camera to get a bad shot. πŸ™‚

  2. Ahhh….. Bella, Bella!! These have to be my very favorite birds, for sheer grace and beauty… how fortunate you are to be so close to so much beautiful nature down there in Florida! May I use one of the photos in an upcoming blog post, with proper credit back to you? namaste, Leigh

    • Hi Leigh ! That is fabulous that you enjoyed this post so much. It is true, such a lucky girl was I to be able to enjoy these beautiful birds in all their glory in such close vicinity. I’d be happy if you would share one of the photos on your posts. Hope Denmark is treating you well. Emily

      • Thanks, Bella Emily…. Denmark is pretty right now with all the wintery white and even a bit of sunshine today…. still, southern Florida sounds pretty good in February….. blessings, Leigh

        • Actually, with this deep freeze we are currently in, it is incrdibly light with all the snow and frost…. great hory frost over all the branches and everything…so beautifullly FREEZING!!!! but I am grateful for such brilliant LIGHT… and in fact, it returns dramatically up this far north….. but you can certainly say hi to Mama Ocean for me!!

  3. Fantastic photos, Emily! Last year I caught them during breeding season in South Carolina. I’m hoping to return this spring for another shoot. Your photos are wonderful, and I especially like the one of the pair together. Lovely!

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