Great Egret nest and trio of chicks at the Dallas City Rookery

Post on May 15, 2013 Great Egret Egret BirdsWading Bird


Yes we do have a rookery near downtown Dallas, in the city surrounded by high raises and busy traffic. From late February to September, thousands of wading birds – white Ibis, anhinga, great egret, snowy egret, cattle egret, black-crowned night heron, tricolor heron and little blue heron come to breed right at the Memorial Garden area of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center between Mockingbird, Inwood, and I-35.

The bad news? No, the strong ammonia odor and massive dropping don’t bother me come peak season. The location however is terrible for photography. It’s one of the toughest rookery with thick vegetation and terrible lighting. Finding a good nest at eye level and reasonable background separation is not impossible, just take about 8 long years!

I’ve been visiting the rookery since 2006 during the weekend in searching for that one nest. It’s not much of a trouble if you are live 20 minutes away. Finally, there’s one this year though a small opening and come evening, the background would lit up nicely. The hard part was waited for the young chicks to elevate its heads higher than the nesting material. Better Beamer was used to light the foreground, just enough to balance the background.

  • Canon, EOS 1D Mark IV
  • EF 500mm F4L IS USM
  • ISO 640, 1/300, F5.6 ,700mm
  • Dallas, Texas
  • May 11, 2013
Great Egret nest and trio of chicks at the Dallas City Rookery

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Comments and Discussions

  • Terri Barnett

    Beautiful, Daniel. Your photos inspire me to improve my own photography. It’s great to see what a pro can do in the same spots that I’ve tried!

  • birdmans

    You are too kind, Terri. I’ve tried way too many weekends in the last 8 years and failed most of them. If any, i know the location fairly well. The light never change.