Tag Archives: Great Blue Heron

GBH: Swapping Nest Duty

The Great Blue Heron on the nest usually alerts when the mate is returning giving the photographer a moment or two to figure out the direction before touch down occurs.

Great Blue Heron on Nest
Great Blue Heron on Nest

These two showed off their finery as part of the greeting ritual.

Great Blue Heron Returning to Nest
Great Blue Heron Returning to Nest

In this case the GBH that had been on the nest wasted little time on the greeting, immediately swooping off to do her thing. It was late afternoon and she wasn’t going to have much time to feed before dark.

Great Blue Heron Fleeing Nest
Great Blue Heron Fleeing Nest

GBH: Nest Duty

This Great Blue Heron was snoozing on the nest when I came along. I was happy to see that the tree is showing some life with some green needles appearing.

Great Blue Heron Laying on Nest
Great Blue Heron Laying on Nest

At one point the heron got up, stretched and ruffled himself.

Great Blue Heron on Nest
Great Blue Heron on Nest

When he settled back down he took a long time adjusting from side to side making me think the eggs might have hatched.

Great Blue Heron Laying on Nest
Great Blue Heron Laying on Nest

The Great Blue was keenly aware of the Great Egret encroaching on his territory. This tree, like past years, has several Great Egret nests and some of the Great Egrets aren’t paired up yet and are searching for nesting spots.

Great Blue Heron Laying on Nest, Great Egret Watching
Great Blue Heron Laying on Nest, Great Egret Watching

Great Blue Heron Relieved of Nest Duty

This Great Blue Heron’s mate arrived to take a turn at the nest and this one wasted no time on the usual greeting. He headed for shore, landing just beyond me on the path.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

I backed up to give him some room and so I could see what he was going to do.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

After his turn on the nest a big shake was in order.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

He went down over the bank, had a look around, then flew off.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

I’m Watching You!

The Great Blue Herons nest before the Great Egrets in this rookery and want the Great Egrets to stay back from their chosen spots.

Great Blue Heron Watches Great Egret Scuffle
Great Blue Heron Watches Great Egret Scuffle

This is with good reason: the Great Egrets’ elegance cannot hide their aggressive behaviors when they try to push other birds out.

Great Blue Heron Watches Great Egret Scuffle
Great Blue Heron Watches Great Egret Scuffle

The Great Egrets’ flying skills are unmatched and they often use their feet to make a point.

Great Blue Heron Watches Great Egret Scuffle
Great Blue Heron Watches Great Egret Scuffle

This scuffle turned out to be more about the two Great Egrets vying for space than trying to take over the Great Blue Heron’s spot. That might come next.

Great Blue Heron Watches Great Egret Scuffle
Great Blue Heron Watches Great Egret Scuffle

Great Blue Heron Stick Gathering

This Great Blue Heron opted to choose some nest building materials from the tree line where I was standing.

Great Blue Heron Flying Into Tree
Great Blue Heron Flying Into Tree

After a tricky landing he walked along a good sized branch while poking for loose material.

Great Blue Heron Selecting Stick
Great Blue Heron Selecting Stick

After discarding a few options he pulled an acceptable branch free and flew back to the nest.

Great Blue Heron Flying With Stick
Great Blue Heron Flying With Stick

Big Meal for GBH Chick

Great Blue Heron chicks have started to hatch around the rookery and Tuesday I spotted one in a high nest sticking his head up.

The first few days the adults will tear food apart and give it to their chicks. As the chicks grow, which happens pretty quickly, the adult dangles food in front of the chicks encouraging them to grab their own meal.

Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog
Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog

Either this chick couldn’t figure out how to get a bite of frog or wasn’t hungry, but after a minute or so the chick lost his chance.

Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog
Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog

It took a minute or so of concentrated effort, but the adult ate the frog in one bite.

Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog
Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog

Great Blue Heron Silhouette

We are at that time of year when there is a lot of Great Blue Heron activity in the swamp at the end of the day with last minute nest building, one mate returning to the nest after feeding, and new-comers looking for a spot. Unfortunately the sun has dipped below the tree line and there is very little light to capture the action.

Great Blue Heron Silhouette
Great Blue Heron Silhouette

So silhouettes are an interesting option. I particularly like this next one with the heron’s foot flexed.

Great Blue Heron Silhouette
Great Blue Heron Silhouette

This heron settled down, probably wondering where to spend the night. Not all of the singles are paired with a mate yet with a nest to return to.

Great Blue Heron Silhouette
Great Blue Heron Silhouette