Category Archives: Wading Birds

Great Blue Heron Mating Behaviors

Part of the Great Blue Heron mating ritual is building the nest. The male brings sticks to the nest and they both arrange and re-arrange. Here he has just returned with a stick that was well received. I have seen sticks get rejected and the male take it to a different female.

Great Blue Heron

I caught this pair from a bad light angle as he flew back and forth to a nearby tree line for branches. I moved into a better position and he flew off again.


I waited from this better spot,  watching her work on the nest, but he didn’t return in the twenty minutes I stood there.


Heron Rookery, Magnolia Plantation Audubon Swamp, 2/1/2017.

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Great Blue Heron: Foggy Morning

This Great Blue Heron was speaking to its mate on a recent foggy morning at the rookery.

Great Blue Heron

No one came so he/she took a trip around the pond, returning to repeat the ritual. I had my shutter speed set too low to get any flight shots.


The Great Blue Heron’s neck feathers were on full display to help with mate attraction.

Great Blue Heron

Most of the pairs and singles were quiet by their nests for the hour we were there, seen below. There were a few Anhinga in the tree, too.

Great Blue Heron Rookery

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Magnolia Plantation Heron Rookery, January 16, 2017.

Great Blue Heron Stick Flight

The flying is easy in the open as the male Great Blue Herons bring sticks to their mates.

Great Blue Heron bringing sticks to nest

Until they get close in.

Great Blue Heron bringing sticks to nest

Maneuvering around the trees that support their nests is a bit tricky. Sometimes they circle around several times before attempting a landing.

Great Blue Heron bringing sticks to nest

The mate keeps a watchful eye.


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Magnolia Plantation Audubon Swamp, 01/11/2017.


Great Blue Heron Touching Down

Reeds around the edge of the canal prevented me from getting the approach.

Great Blue Heron

The rest all happened in less than two seconds.

Great Blue Heron Photograph

The Great Blue Heron is a very graceful flyer, despite his size.

Great Blue Heron Photograph

No points this time due to an uneven landing.

Great Blue Heron Photograph

Is that an Alligator or a log?

Great Blue Heron Photograph

It could be either but the Heron prudently took a quick hop over it before settling down.

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Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, November 25, 2016

Great Blue Herons Keeping House

The Great Blue Herons have arrived at the Audubon Swamp Rookery and wasted no time fixing up their nests and getting ready for their next brood.


They did take some breaks for displays of affection.


The males gather most of the nest material and the females spend quite a bit of time arranging it. This pair was relatively quiet, but others in the rookery did a lot of squawking as they worked on their nests.