Gatorland Rookery-2004

Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
197
Location
Tallahassee, FL, USA
These are a few shots I took April, 2004 at the Gatorland Rookery. It is an amazing place. So close you could touch the birds. It is as about as close to nature as you can get. While I was there the gators pounced on several of the young that fell into the water. It was over in a splash.

Tri-Colored Heron with young.
D2H, 80-400mm at 180mm, 1/90, F/13, Sb-800
http://www.nikondigital.org/discuss/uploads/18547-DSC_0923.jpg

3 juvenile Great Egrets
D2H, 80-400mm VR at 270mm, 1/1250, F/13, SB-800
http://www.nikondigital.org/discuss/uploads/18546-DSC_0924.jpg

Cattle Egret in breeding plumage.
D2H, 80-400mm VR at 270mm, 1/1000, F/13
http://www.nikondigital.org/discuss/uploads/18544-DSC_0954.jpg

Another Cattle Egret in breeding plumage
D2H, 80-400mm at 400mm, 1/200, F/13
http://www.nikondigital.org/discuss/uploads/18575-DSC_0862.jpg

I thought the perfect lens was the 80-400mm VR for the Rookery. For flying birds it wasn't as good. Kind of wish I had not sold it but it helped finance a 200-400mm VR.

Russ
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
4,741
Location
SE Florida
Good shots, & what a chubby, balled up Tri

I'll bet that site of the gators getting after those baby birds was really something, huh? Would've loved to seen it.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
994
Location
Alabama
Very nice series Russ. I definitely will check this place out next time I'm down there.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
5,985
Location
Orlando, Florida
Thanks again, Russ for bringing this great site to my attention! You got some great captures.

Yesterday when I was there, I was using my 300mm for flight shots. It was a great lens for that. You're just the right distance. Ideally, I think the 200-400 would be absolutely perfect.

I used the 80-200 to walk the boardwalk and it was great--300 was too long for that, in most cases.

It's kind of a strange feeling watching the gators patrol the waters for fallen chicks. In a morbid kind of way, I wanted to see it happen, too. But they're just so vulnerable, I think it would be disturbing. I did see a egret chick that must've had some kind of pecking wound on the back of his head. I couldn't really tell until I examined the photo, but it looks like blood and a open wound. Some of those chicks were really nasty to one another. I saw lots of fights in the branches.

Cool experience overall!
 

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