Last Count

Snowy egrets. The yellow feet distinguish them as snowies.

It was the last bird count of the nesting season at the Alligator Farm. There are still eggs that have not hatched yet and young chicks still in the nest, but many of the babies have moved on or are hanging around the Alligator Farm. They are adorable and a joy to watch. While we count, we have to concentrate on getting the numbers correct. I do not usually photograph during a bird count unless there is something of interest like a banded bird. After we finished counting today, I hung around to enjoy the birds and get some photos and video.

Tri-colored herons.
Baby bird perched precariously on the palm boot. There are alligators on the ground below.

The little chick below fell out of the nest onto the boardwalk and I got some video of it trying to figure out how to get back in the nest. It could not fly and tried to climb the fence. It eventually climbed the fence into a palm tree, but it was not the right tree.

Chick that fell out of the nest onto the boardwalk.
The egg had just hatched and this tri-colored heron parent is removing the shell from the nest.
Tri-colored herons.
Tri-colored heron with a punk hairdo.
Young wood stork.
It is tough to tell what type of bird the babies are when the parents are not around. Cattle egrets, snowy egrets, great egrets, wood storks, and little blue herons have white chicks. Great egrets and wood storks are fairly easy to identify if you can get a look at their bill. The other birds can be difficult which makes it tough to count. I have a particularly hard time with baby snowies versus baby little blues.

This is probably the last nest of roseate spoonbills to hatch this season at the rookery.

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