I shot these photos in three different locations:
1) St. Augustine Alligator Farm, St. Augustine FL
2) Venice Rookery, Venice, FL
3) Ft. Desoto State Beach, St. Petersburg, FL
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is a fantastic private zoo that has a large boardwalk over a pond stocked with hundreds of alligators; some over 10 feet long. The birds nest there because of the protection of the alligators from small animals that might otherwise raid their nests.
The Venice Rookery is a small island open year-round in Venice, Florida. A variety of species nest there, including great blue herons and anhingas.
Fort Desoto State Beach is not only a great place to get a tan, but there are numerous shorebirds there, including migrant terns, skimmers, and avocets. My images of the laughing gulls were shot there.
great blue heron