Directions: From the intersection of Jacaranda Blvd (I-75, Exit 193) and US 41 in Venice FL, drive 1/8 mile north and then turn left onto Annex Road at the Sarasota County Administration Center. Follow Annex Road a short distance around the Venice Audubon Center to the Rookery on the right.
Misc. Info: See http://veniceaudubon.org/rookery.
Date of Visit: Mid January 2013
Conditions: Sunny
Time of day: Morning
Photography: This is one of two places at which I’ve seen Great Blue Herons breeding. (The other is near Crested Butte CO.) During our visit, my wife and I also observed and photographed nesting Great Egrets and Anhingas. We also saw Common Moorhens and turtles along the edge of the small lake that surrounds the island rookery. A telephoto lens of at least 300 mm will be needed to do justice to the birds on the island. Vegetation on the banks is fairly minimal, allowing good sight lines around most of the lake. However, if you are a nature photographer purist (I count myself as one of these), care will need to be taken to exclude buildings, wires and poles from images. It is my impression that not nearly as many birds nest here as in past years. But this can still be a worthwhile place to visit if (a) you are in the area and (b) have a longer telephoto lens.