Great Egret – Venice Heron Rookery; Venice, Florida: This Great Egret is caught on the wing as it returns to its nest at the Venice heron rookery. The rookery is one of the best places to photograph nesting wading birds in Florida. Along with the Great Egrets other birds that nest in the heronry are, Anhinga, Great Blue and Yellow-crown Night Herons.
The best time to visit the rookery is January, February and March. I have found early morning the best time to shoot as visual access is on the east side of the rookery. On mornings with a clear eastern sky the sulfurous warmth of the rising sun provides rich, saturated colors.Even before the sun breaks the horizon the rookery is a bustling hub of energy. Activity in the heronry varies depending on the time of the year. During the early breeding season birds are busy building and adding to nest. During the incubation and nest building periods there is the constant nuptial ritual between birds when they arrive and exchange duties at the nest. After eggs hatch there is constant feeding activity as adults tend to nestlings. One thing is certain, there is never a dull moment at the Venice Rookery and always uncountable opportunities to shoot great photos.
If you are interested in visiting the rookery follow this link for more information and direction: http://www.veniceaudubon.org/rookery.html
Nikon F5, Nikkor 500mm f4, Ektachrome 100VS
Also see post for April 4, & May 21, 2010
Note: Great Egret, Common Egret and American Egret are the same bird. Current nomenclature is Great Egret.