Besides being the “Alligator Capital of the World”, Gatorland is also a birdwatcher’s paradise. In the heart of Gatorland’s 110 acre park lays a 10 acre breeding marsh teeming with a wide variety of native Florida birds. Gatorland built their breeding marsh in 1991 for their resident alligators, but by the next year, a little bird had spread the word, and now thousands of birds flock to this safe haven to raise their chicks.
Up close and Personal with an Endangered Wood Stork.
Many endangered Wood Storks can be seen here as well as a variety of herons and other water birds. Nests are built in the willowy trees around the marsh.
Though many professional photographers bring out the big guns of lenses for the “perfect shot”, many nests and birds are close enough for a great picture with a regular point and shoot camera.
Great herons and snowy egrets are the easier to spot because of their white plumage and many of their nests are on the outside branches of the trees. The shy tri-colored herons and cattle egrets seem to favor the cover of the inside branches.
Wood Storks and cormorants build their nests high in the trees, and the gators cruise below keeping snakes, possums and raccoons away from the fragile nests.
Beautiful Blue Herons walk among the gators while the petite ibis keep their distance. Come explore the different bird and other animal species that call Gatorland “home”.
Gatorland is located at 14501 South Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32835. 407-855-5498.
For more information on Gatorland, visit http://www.gatorland.com/.
Gatorland is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. For other great bird and wildlife viewing areas around Florida, visit http://www.floridabirdingtrail.com/.