The Great Egret male brought the female a stick to add to their nest.
She accepted it with gusto and made quite a show of placing and re-arranging it.
Now that they have a nest one of the two will likely stay close by, even before eggs are laid, to ensure an interloper doesn’t take possession of a ready-made home.
This rookery is at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in St. Augustine, Florida. Founded in 1893 as a reptile exhibition, the park quickly became a major attraction. Over its 125 year life-span there were a lot of challenges including storms. relocation, and fire. Accredited by The American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in 1989 they have expanded their education mission and animal variety. (http://www.alligatorfarm.com)
The wading birds were naturally attracted to an area of the Zoo’s property that was perfect for roosting and nesting. During the 1970s a boardwalk was added through the rookery to allow visitors access to the birds above the swamp that is full of Alligators.
St. Augustine, FL, 01/29/2018