Category Archives: Wading Birds

Little Blue Heron Feeding

Little Blue Herons will perch on logs or rocks to search for food rather than wade if something solid is available. With the water completely covered in duck weed it’s hard to say how deep it is.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

This pond has had a lot of water level changes, up and down, this spring which has freed a number of fallen tree branches that had been hung up on the edges. This Little Blue Heron took full advantage of a log as a hunting spot.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

I couldn’t make out what he was plucking out of the water but it seemed to satisfy him.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

Great Egret Chick Feeding Time

The Great Egret chicks waste no time when the adult returns to the nest with food. It’s every chick for himself, and the first order of business is to latch onto the adult’s beak or neck.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

The egrets’ necks are very flexible and the chicks know how to encourage the regurgitation of their dinner.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

The adult always takes a pause and looks skyward before producing the meal.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

Then he bends one more time and one chick opens wide while the other watches.

It was hard to tell if they both got something this trip. The entire maneuver got repeated but they were all moving around so much I lost track of which chick was which.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

When the chicks were smaller the adult would supervise and maybe have to do some enticing with the food to get them to eat. Now that they are nearly full-grown the adult quickly moves out of reach of those sharp beaks.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

Taken 5/29/2019

Great Egret Triplet Chicks

The chicks have little control over their movements, they flop around the nest fighting to stay upright.

Great Egret Triplet Chicks
Great Egret Triplet Chicks

I marvel every year I watch this that any of them manage to stay in the nest.

Great Egret Triplet Chicks
Great Egret Triplet Chicks

The adults never take action to reign them in, but do provide some protection when they are this age from attackers.

Great Egret Triplet Chicks
Great Egret Triplet Chicks

5/22/2019

Great Blue Heron Chick Test Flight

This Great Blue Heron chick took a test “fly – hop” from the branch above his nest and over his sibling.

Great Blue Heron Chick Test Flight
Great Blue Heron Chick Test Flight

The sibling was less than impressed, but the flyer seemed pretty pleased with himself.

Great Blue Heron Chick Test Flight
Great Blue Heron Chick Test Flight

He liked it so much he climbed back up to the top and flapped his wings in the breeze.

Great Blue Heron Chick Test Wings
Great Blue Heron Chick Test Wings

I didn’t see him lift off again; he was content to watch the world from a higher vantage point.

Great Blue Heron Chick Test Wings
Great Blue Heron Chick Test Wings

Great Blue Heron Chicks Growing Up Fast

I don’t know just when they hatched but these two Great Blue Heron chicks were checking out their world on March 31st.

Great Blue Heron Chicks March 31
Great Blue Heron Chicks March 31

They were able to sit up and squawk for several minutes at a time.

Great Blue Heron Chicks March 31
Great Blue Heron Chicks March 31

I didn’t get any good images in between, but by May 5th they had the appearance of adults.

Great Blue Heron Chicks May 5
Great Blue Heron Chicks May 5

Able to stretch their necks for a better view, their world is just this nest. They are totally reliant on the parents bringing food.

Great Blue Heron Chicks May 5
Great Blue Heron Chicks May 5

On May 22nd their feathers looked more mature and the chicks spend more time grooming.

Great Blue Heron Chicks May 22
Great Blue Heron Chicks May 22

I have not seen these two chicks fly yet, but it won’t be long. It has been brutally hot here, 100 F (38 C) predicted for today, and these nests are out in the open with no shade. The chicks will do a pant-like behavior and sit with their wings out to help regulate temperature, which hopefully will help them survive.

Little Blue Heron

It’s nice to have a breeze around the pond but sometimes it blows low hanging branches into your shot. I still liked the pose and colors of this Little Blue Heron.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

I was able to move a few steps for a different angle, however the bird was on the move.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

He paused for a quick look around.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

See ya later!

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage

I  frequently see Cattle Egrets in my local travels at some small farms with cattle, horses and goats. This is the first time I’ve seen one up close at any of the swamp / marsh areas in South Carolina.

Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors
Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors

Slightly smaller than a Little Blue Heron, I wasn’t surprised when he disappeared from my sight in the tall vegetation. After poking around a bit he stuck his head up for a look.

Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors
Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors

He moved to some shorter vegetation along the edge of the pond and I was able to get to a better angle.

Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors
Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors

Finally he stood fully upright showing off his golden head, neck and chest feathers.

Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors
Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Closer Up

This Yellow-crowned Night-heron has become quite habituated to humans at Magnolia Cemetery. I saw several folks walk by and he never moved. This is the same heron as my wide view draped in Spanish Moss taken from the other side of the pond.

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

This tree hangs out over one of the cemetery’s ponds and he had a great view of some hunting grounds.

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

Some sort of small crustaceans were around the edge of the water and the heron spent some time stalking them.

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