Today was the end of a fun workshop I hosted in Florida. We went to Gatorland in Orlando, which is a crazy tourist spot that has a special relationship with nature. They have tons of gators, thus the name, but they also have a large rookery for birds that are surrounded by the gators. The gators keep the ground predators away from the eggs and the gators get the hatchlings that fall out of the nest and birds that build their nests a little too close to the water.
There are boardwalks through the rookery and an observation tower. The birds build their nests close to the ground and to the boardwalk, you could touch some of them if you really tried. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays they let photographers enter at 7:30 a.m. to get lots of shots before the public arrives at 10 a.m. There has been a crowd of photographers each time I’ve been there but it is a great place to get intimate shots of birds on the nest, flying around and, of course, gators.
See photo gallery from Loren’s Florida photography workshop.