St. Augustine Alligator Farm - Headed by Bill CoppedgeThe St. Augustine Alligator Farm located on Anastasia Island is widely known as a rookery for many native wading birds including Great Egrets, Wood Storks, Blue Herons, Tri-Colored Herons, and Ibises.
Visiting this location during the nesting season affords photographers an up close view of hundreds of wading birds in various stages of nesting. This includes nest building, eggs in incubation and various growth stages of baby birds. The main viewing area is located along an elevated walkway in the back of the farm. Underneath this walkway is a pond area where the alligators live. The rookery is located in the trees surrounding the pond. This is a great opportunity to get very close to the birds in various stages of nesting. Some are so close that they are almost within arm’s length. You don’t have to have a long telephoto lens to get a great picture. Medium telephotos will work fine, but if you have a long telephoto lens, bring it.
The normal hours of operation are from 9am to 5pm. We will meet near the main entrance at 8:45am. The one day entrance fee is $21.95.
If you decide to purchase the seasonal “Photo Pass”, the fee is $79.95 and this allows you to enter at 8am. It doesn’t state it on the website, but with the “Photo Pass” you may be able to stay at least one hour after closing. If you get the “Photo Pass” and arrive early we will see you at the viewing area.
For more information about the St. Augustine Alligator Farm go to www.alligatorfarm.com
Also there is a blog that will give you an idea of what type’s species of birds that you will see and the various stages that will be taking place. http://rookery.alligatorfarm.us
Words of advice and other stuff:
1) Wear a hat to cover your head because there will be birds flying around and they are not house broken.
2) Don’t stand under the trees and don’t look up with your mouth open (see #1)
3) We will have company so be patient. This is a very popular place for a reason. I find that sometimes it is best just to pick a spot and stay put for photographing flying birds.
4) bring your tripod and at minimum a medium telephoto lens. You can experiment with off camera flash, so bring one if you have it. Better yet a flash with a “Better Beamer” is popular among experienced bird photographers. The “Better Beamer” allows you to project flash lighting at longer distances than normal flash lighting.