March 7, 2022
A few Great Blue Herons have started staking out the best nest sites around Ravenswood Pond at Magnolia Plantation.
On December 6th there were a few colored leaves left in the background trees to make an interesting capture.
This GBH practiced a few mating calls.
And poked a few sticks around the nest area. Not much new material had been flown in but you can see this location has an excellent support structure when the time comes.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
December 6, 2021
I was momentarily distracted by the Canada Goose With A Treasure while watching the two Hooded Merganser drakes show off. When I reverted my attention to the ducks I saw that a few more females and another male had joined the party.
The three drakes performed tight circle maneuvers…
… that ended with a spirited chase.
The females lost interest and pretty soon they all casually swam to the other side of the pond, out of my view.
Continued from Male Hooded Merganser Duo Showing Off
The second female toward the back got a little fancier with her tail action and the first one fluffed her crown up, showing a bit more interest.
The male-male competition got a little heated.
Then the female flattened herself, keeping her head under water for a bit, presumably to express interest in the males’ dance. I’d not seen this behavior before, and at one point wondered how long she could stay submerged.
They circled around her several times while the second female moved on.
Two Hooded Merganser drakes were showing off for a female, doing their best to strut their stuff.
The female didn’t seem to be that interested, and much of the action was one male crowding the other out.
Back and forth they went, in and out of reflections created by trees on the far side of the pond.
A second female circled around a few times but she didn’t distract the drakes from the first female.
Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, SC
February 20, 2021
The Great Egrets really know how to show off when it comes to attracting a mate. The lores around their eyes turn a fabulous green and their feathery plumage is put to work, hoping to draw attention to themselves.
On this day last April it was late afternoon with the sun already below the trees when I came upon this show off. It was darker than I would like but the striped clouds and two Great Blue Heron chicks added to the scene.
April 13, 2019
The Great Blue Herons are busy fixing up their nests around the pond, one stick at a time.
Wingspan: 65.8-79.1 in (167-201 cm)
Even though we are seeing a lot of flower color around the swamp the trees are still mostly dull grey and brown. The island where this Great Egret took off has a few green palm trees which gave this flight shot some color.
As he flew over the open water the background wasn’t nearly as interesting so I edited it to be darker, giving a nice view of the Egret’s wing tips and layers.
As he approached his destination, a tree closer to the edge of the pond, the Egret started to pull up for landing.