Depending upon what month you go determines the showy displays of the mating egrets and herons. Last year we went in April and Sparky got TONS of BIG, beautiful plume feather displays. This year we went a little earlier and the birds seem to have already settled down somewhat into their nests with their mates. We think they still will be doing courtship dances a little while longer.
It's a simple little place, a little park off of 41 down in Venice. Here are the directions from Bradenton or Sarasota: head 75 South to the Jacaranda Boulevard exit--stay on Jacaranda all the way to 41. Turn right on 41, go about half a block and turn left right by the state police building--there's a small brown sign that says "Venice Rookery" close to the turn.
You see everyone sporting all kinds of cameras from their little iPhones trying to take photos, to the big humongous lenses that the more experienced photographers have. Personally, Sparky has been VERY happy with just a Canon point and shoot 50X lens camera called the SX530. Here are some shots from last year with that camera.
And one more....