Birds are Flying in for Springtime

Birds are Flying in for Springtime

Posted by Jen Brueggen on Jan 31st 2024

Our Native Bird Rookery & Swamp is one of our most popular attractions: gorgeous pink Roseate Spoonbills, lots of adorable baby birds to see, and the chance to experience this phenomenon up close. We've nicknamed this experience, Marvelous Chaos. 

All of these wild birds come here to roost and raise their young because the alligators are here. They are under the trees where the birds nest, preventing other predators like raccoons and opossums from raiding the nest. A young bird might fall prey to the alligators, but it's better survival odds for all of them than the entire nest being destroyed by a mammalian predator. 

The types of native birds you might see in the rookery include:

Roseate Spoonbills: Naturally pink birds that are part of a conservation project to monitor their populations as they migrate around the region. Also a big draw for many guests and photographers, and an opportunity for our guests to participate in Citizen Science. When you spot a Spoonbill or any other bird with a band on it's leg, reports can be made to the Audubon Society.

Pick up your own Rosie the Spoonbill plush online or in the Gift Shop, and show off your Spoonbill love with one of our beautiful Roseate Spoonbill Shirts.

Wood Storks: An Endangered Species success story, their populations are increasing. 

Great Egrets: Once hunted for their beautiful plumage, they are also a conservation success story. 

Snowy Egrets: What's that weird gurgling noise? That fun sound is coming from breeding Snowy Egrets.

Tri-colored Herons, Blue Herons, Little Green Herons, Night Herons, and more can be found in the Native Bird Rookery & Swamp. Follow our social media channels to see who is flying in and nesting inside the Rookery. You can also watch the Live Webcam here:

Amateur and Professional Photographers love our Photographer's Pass. It's an annual membership, so you can visit the Zoo all-year long. During select months of the Nesting Season, those with the Photographer's Pass are granted exclusive access into the Zoo before we open to the general public and after the Zoo closes. This special time gives photographers access to beautiful sunlight hours and quieter times to capture the perfect moment in the Rookery. 

Additionally, the Photographers Pass gives you the opportunity to submit your photos into our Photo Contest. Read more about this in our Rookery Blog, where you'll find other interesting research and updates on the Rookery over the years.

Passes and memberships are available on our website

We're located at 999 Anastasia Blvd, St Augustine, Florida, 32080. If you have questions, you can call us at (904) 824-3337 during our normal business hours 9am to 5pm every day of the week. You can visit our website at for additional information.

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