Great Blue Heron Chick

Great Blue Heron Chicks

Florida’s Vierra Wetlands is a man-made water reclamation facility that “polishes reclaimed water for irrigation or overflow into the adjacent Four-mile Canal” per the Brevard County website.

The 200 acre site hosts a wide variety of local wildlife and migrating and nesting birds, including Great Blue Herons.

Florida’s nesting birds are at least a month ahead of those here in South Carolina. We are just starting to see hatchlings at the local rookeries and these images were taken almost three weeks ago, when we saw some chicks that were close to a month old.

Great Blue Heron Chick
Great Blue Heron Chick Peeking Up

It was quite windy this day, and with the chicks standing you can see there isn’t much to hold them in the nest and there is no protection from the weather.

Great Blue Heron and Chicks
Great Blue Heron and Chicks

The placement of the nest on a palm tree top provides some security from predators climbing up, particularly raccoons. Many of the chosen nest trees are also standing in water which means alligators patrol below for potential nest raiders.

Great Blue Heron and Chick
Great Blue Heron and Chick – just the fuzz visable

The road around the impoundments is elevated from the water giving a direct view into some of the nests.

Vierra Wetlands
Vierra Wetlands, Great Blue Heron nest, several Anhinga perched on shorter tree stumps

Click on any image for larger view.

Vierra Wetlands, Brevard County, Florida, 2/21/2018.

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