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Gatorland Breeding Marsh & Bird Rookery

What exactly is a breeding marsh at Gatorland? What about a bird rookery? What do they consist of?

This guide will take you through everything that the breeding marsh and bird rookery offer, along with how gators actually help with bird nesting, and we'll even cover why you can't miss the Parrot Playground!

Breeding Marsh

Crocs & Gators

100+ crocs and gators live side by side of each other and roam around the breeding marsh. 

gatorland breeding marsh

This 10 acre concept was made in order to give these animals a safe but natural environment where they can actually do natural behaviors such as sun bathe, swim, mate and eat.

It became a huge success as new alligators now hatch every year, and visitors from all over the world are eager to take a walk around the marsh and see it for themselves.

alligator mouth

The gators have actually become so content in this environment that they've even been known to make their nests under the boardwalk.

Have no fear however, as the Gatorland staff has noticed and immediately created extra barriers to keep the gator mothers, babies & humans safe from one another.

Fun Fact: This also happens to be the same breeding marsh that the zipline rides over!

gatorland zipline

Baby Alligators

There's also a new Baby Gator Marsh that you'll want to make sure you visit. 60+ of the smallest alligators along with the hatchlings from this year grow up in this area. 

baby alligators

When they reach the age of 18 months, they'll be upgraded to one of the several outdoor pools in order to make room for the hatchlings that will come next year.

This area is nice for the gators since it provides the baby gators protection from the bigger gators until they're old enough to be able to successfully care for themselves.

It's also nice for guests as they'll be able to see the baby gators while they're small and adorable.


Observation Tower

This 3 story tower gives you premier access to the wildlife in the breeding marsh. You will be able to get up and close from the first level, but also have the flexibility to get a big picture view of the entire area.

gatorland observation tower

One of the most popular things that guests do is bring binoculars to 'scope out' the animals from the higher levels. If you decide to do this, you'll want to make sure that you get on the 3rd level and look directly down with the binoculars to see several giant ancient animals around the base.

When you're here however, you'll definitely want to make sure that you get a 360 view of the environment, look across the water, look at the trees and see the possible nesting birds or even their hatchlings.

There is also a telescope mounted on the railing that is available for a limited time for the cost of $0.25.


Sizeable gazebos are available to provide shade from the Florida sun, and wooden benches will give you the chance to take a breather, sit, and relax while soaking this environment in.

Entrances to the Observation Tower

Middle of the Park

A bridge will connect you to the observation tower.

North of the Park

Next to Lily's Pad

South of the Park

Next to Pearl's Smokehouse

Bird Rookery

The famous Bird Rookery was created in 1991 as an alligator breeding marsh.

gatorland bird flying

What happened next however was remarkable. Birds began flying in and nesting above the water, and the numbers of birds doing this increased year after year, and even more species flocked in.

Today 1,000+ bird nests are active here.

Why Did this Happen?

Gators are able to provide protection to the birds and their babies from natural predators such as raccoons, possums, otters, skunks, and other animals.

gator and birds

This habitat has grown into one of the biggest wading rookeries in Florida. Over 20 species of birds enjoy the protection of nesting, roosting and foraging in this area. 

Birds such as the White Ibises, Snowy Egrets, Wood Storks, Great Blue, Little Blue, Green, Tricolored Herons and Black-crowned Night-Herons have all nested in this area for years.

Parrot Playground

Featuring Amazon Parrots, Blue and Gold Macaws, and Cockatoos, you'll be amazed when you talk to them, and they turn their heads at you and talk back!

gatorland parrots

These beautiful friendly birds can be found in their own little section of the park that is easily accessible. Just look for the uniquely colored birds standing on wooden branches, they'll stick out.

gatorland parrot

Birds that you Weren't Expecting to see at Gatorland

Flamingos! That's right, even these pink colored famous birds decide to take a stroll around the park every once in a while.


They can be seen in their own little Flamingo Island along with Wood Storks, who always keep a watchful eye on the gators.

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You can purchase and see everything that Gatorland has to offer through our Gatorland page.

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