Great Egrets In Florida Trees

Now that I am fully retired I am going through files from previous Photo Trips to post. The images here were taken at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery a few years ago. The Featured Image was taken with a Tamron 150-600mm @ 309mm on a Canon R. The Tamron 150-600mm lens worked Great at the Rookery since birds were both near and far in the Rookery giving you a lot of opportunities to get interesting images without carrying a lot of Gear! There were quite a few nests there also since the alligators below the boardwalks helped protect the nests from predators climbing up to raid the nest here!

Displaying Great Egret, Canon R, 150-600mm lens @ 500mm

Great Egrets With Breeding Plumage

When we were photographing last year at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery we saw a lot of Great Egrets with their Breeding Plumage. Great Egrets are of breeding age when they about two years old. As they get into breeding plumage, they have long lacy and delicate plumes on their backs. The eye lores (featherless skin between the bill and eyes) turn from yellow to lime green, and the top of the upper bill turns dark. Also sometimes it seems their neck and other areas look “more feathery”. Below are a few examples of their Breeding Plumage.

Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm
Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm
Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 500mm
Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm
Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm
Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm

Great Egret Landing

A Great Egret landing in the early morning light at a small local lake. Image taken with 400mm DO lens with 1.4X teleconverter.

Great Egret, Breeding Plumage On Nest

Another Great Egret with Breeding Plumage & Coloring on a Nest at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. I was using a Canon R for most of my trip and am quite impressed with the fine details and how it holds detail in the bright white of my photo subjects in bright sunlight. Most of my images on these types of birds was with no minus exposure compensation. On older Canon bodies I would probably be -1 full stop of exposure compensation to not blow out the details in the whites.


Different nearby nest with chicks


Nearby Great Egret, breeding plumage and eye lore coloring


Young Great Egrets

_GE_Nest_Chicks_v2_AF_600mm_76A4291The featured image shows a little older set of young Great Egrets. They were just hanging out at the nest waiting for food for when their parents return. Below are a few other Great Egret nests with younger birds showing their “fuzzy” look. The images were shot at 550mm and 600mm.





More Great Egret Nests

Among the wide variety of nesting birds at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm’s Rookery, there are many Great Egret nests in the trees. This blog post shows a few of these.  It is amazing to see so many nests in most of the trees. Some trees have a dozen or more nests in a single tree. Also the variety of birds nesting in the same tree.


Great Egrets Preening At Blackwater NWR

I finally got a chance to go through images I shot at Blackwater NWR a couple of months ago. Here are two Egrets preening in a tree along the Wildlife Drive. The featured image is a 3 image blend, shot with a 400mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. I purposely shot the top and the bottom image a little softer so the main center area stood out more when I blended the images in Photoshop.


After I photographed the featured image series another Egret flew by behind the two in the tree, giving me an opportunity to photograph something flying! We then mostly concentrated on Landscape Panoramas and dragonflies the rest of the day. The cloud formations were spectacular so it was still a wonderful day to photograph at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge!


Great Egrets Roosting In Trees

Along the Wildlife Drive in the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, there is a group of trees at one of the bends in the drive that seems to attract a variety of Herons along with Egrets. You can usually see Black-Crowned Night-Herons, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and occasionally Yellow-crowned Night-Herons & Cattle Egrets. This series are with the Great Egrets.

Great_Egret_v2_Brig_8_17_43G8700Great_Egret_v2_Brig 8_17_43G8716Great_Egret_Preening_V3_Brig_8_17_43G8782Great_Egret_v3_Brig_8_17_43G8809

Great Egrets Through The Bushes

I was photographing some small shorebirds when I noticed this group of Great Egrets foraging along the shoreline, coming towards me. I changed my position to get more working distance to photograph them with the lens I had on. Backing up even more as they got closer to get them all in and I shot a series of images through an opening in the bushes. This is the one I liked the best because they were lined up fairly well in the opening in the bushes. And I liked the upraised wings of the Egret in the foreground. I was using a 400mm with a 1.4x teleconverter @ f/8 which softened the bushes I was shooting through. It actually worked out better than I thought.

Up In The Trees

We have been to the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge a few times, but on this visit it seemed a lot of the Egrets and Herons were in some of the tall trees around the water. Not too many were in the water. Seemed strange too see so many Egrets  on top of these, but seemed like they had good balance!

GE BOMBAY HOOK v1MG_4393GE v1 Bombay Hook_MG_4381GE V1 Bombay HOok_MG_4359Egret v3 BombayHook_1150605

Osprey Bombay Hook v2_MG_3400

An Osprey seemed to join in but not in a tree

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