Most of the herons and egret chicks have hatched and are nearly or fully fledged in this Orlando rookery. We still see an occasional cattle egret parent incubating eggs, but active nests are becoming scarce. Though many fledged birds are hunting for fish, tadpoles and other aquatic life on their own, they still act like they are starving chicks, fluttering their wings and squawking loudly when their parents approach them. Some parents still feed their nearly grown youngsters; other adults ignore their fully fledged chicks.
Soon the rookery will be quiet as the young egrets, herons and wood storks disperse. Since the location is still a good source of food some will return here to hunt for fish, catch frogs and rummage for crayfish in the swampy waters. Now the alligators begin to lay eggs along the edges of the cypress swamps and ponds.