Category Archives: Wading Birds

Flight Control

This Great Egret was not just passing by using that elegant egret glide I’ve come to love; he was on a mission.

Great Egret in Flight
Great Egret in Flight

Note the extended short feathers at the wing bend and the angle of the outer part of the wing.

Great Egret in Flight
Great Egret in Flight

He made a sharp turn right above me, providing an interesting view of his wing structure.

Great Egret in Flight
Great Egret in Flight

He circled lower then dropped down into the edge of the pond, just out of my sight.

Great Egret Ripley Water

Wading along, this Great Egret passed through some different looks to the water. A little breeze was making it ripple and in the first image the light was reflecting off the water onto the bird.

Great Egret
Great Egret

As he moved further along, there was less reflection from the reeds on the opposite bank of the pond and the sky made the water seem bluer. Around water a lot can change in just a few feet.

Great Egret
Great Egret

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron On Boardwalk

The two Black-crowned Night-heron nests I spotted at the beginning of May apparently failed as they disappeared shortly thereafter. There must have been at least one other nest in that little island as I almost literally bumped into this juvenile on Thursday standing on the nearby boardwalk.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron

He practiced rousing…

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron

… and showed me his beautiful wings.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron

A little unsure of himself, he hopped along before taking off back to the island.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron

Further down the path I had a view of him perched on a dead branch hanging over the water.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron

Will These Sticks Make a Nest? Yes!

In mid February I posed a question “Will These Sticks Make a Nest?”  with doubts about the whole thing staying put.

This is one of my images from that post showing the scrawny nest and poor housing support.

Great Blue Heron on Nest
Great Blue Heron on Nest – February

I’ve been back a couple times since then and seen the parents had built the nest up quite a bit and two chicks had hatched.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron in nest

I finally got some decent images this week.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron

There was just the one chick. Most of the other GBH chicks in nearby nests have fledged. Sometimes the young will return to the nest even after they are feeding themselves, probably for familiarity.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron

If this one hasn’t flown he will soon as the parents stop bringing food at some point and he’ll have no choice.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron

Yellow-crowned Night-heron and Friends

Maybe not friends, but tree-mates. This dead tree stands on the banks of the Ashley River and is popular perch for a variety of birds.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

I have been watching some Yellow-crowned Night-herons that are nesting at the edge of a nearby pond. This one stayed here, perhaps getting a respite from nest duty, for over an hour.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

The Anhinga and Grackle came and went. The sky stayed grey.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Twig Gathering

Usually I say stick gathering with images of a heron working on nest material. This Yellow-crowned Night-heron was only interested in small twigs, and despite all his efforts I never saw him take anything to the nest.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

Ah, maybe this is the one!

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

No, he dropped that one and poked around for another option.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

You can hardly see the twig sticking out of his beak, and after a minute he dropped that one, too.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron