One of the perks of having alligators in your back yard is that they make for great guard animals. Just ask the egret/heron species that colonize the nesting grounds on the campus of Florida’s famed St. Augustine Alligator Farm. The pictures below will amaze you!
Jackie Kramer, an EPA official and friend came to visit me at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center a few weeks ago to check out our new marine birding venue. Jackie is a wildlife photographer in her free time. She is also quite in to birding and recently returned from St. Augustine, Florida where she participated in the 2011 Florida Birding and Photo Fest. The Center for Marine Studies at Whitney Laboratory (University of Florida) hosted the event– a dream for birders and photographers alike.
One of the field sites selected for the photographers was the Native Swamp and Rookery exhibit at St. Augustine Alligator Farm. The farm is not only famous for it’s impressive collection of captive crocodilians, but for its wading bird rookery–a premier bird photography site. If it were not for the gators the rookery would not exist. As the farm’s website declares, “these birds seek out evening roosts above the alligators, knowing that alligators will keep tree-climbing predators away.”