Every year at this time, St Augustine is filled with bird-watchers, and rightly so. We are home to one of the nations premier sites for rare and exotic birds to nest (a Rookery, as they are called) on Anastasia Island at the Alligator Farm.
The Alligator Farm was St Augustine original site to see, or the first attraction you might say. In 1893, during the Flagler period of St Augustine, visitors were just beginning to discover Florida, and it’s reptiles were the perfect draw. Exotic, strange, and dangerous. Perfect for the turn-of-the-century advertising writers. The railways in particular like to use “The Farm” to attract travelers south.
Today ‘The Farm” is a zoological park, focused on the preservation and protection of its inhabitants, as well as the education of it’s visitors. It is always adding new and exciting animals to it’s stable of creatures like the Dragon from Kimoto, and the Lemurs from Madagascar. But bird-lovers know it for it’s Rookery or, nesting site.
Now even you can keep up with the goings on at the rookery by calling a number at the park that keeps you informed of who’s hatching and who’s still just sitting. 904-824-3337 ex 23. So give it a call, find out when your favorite exotic bird is about to hatch, and book your room at the Inn on Charlotte to enjoy one of the nation's rarest and beautiful rookeries, and the Alligator Farm Zoological park in St Augustine Fl.
(*Photos courtesy of Linda Henderson)