Tag Archives: Great Blue Heron

Whose Log Is It?

When wading birds are around a perch of any sort rarely goes unoccupied. When I first arrived at this pond just after sunup a Great Blue Heron was surveying the scene from a piece of driftwood. In the low light it looked a bit like an alligator.

Great Blue Heron on Driftwood, American Avocet feeding

Twenty minutes later the GBH had moved on and his spot had been quickly occupied by a Snowy Egret, with two Grackles closing in. Possession of such a coveted spot is a fluid thing.

Grackles and Snowy Egret on Driftwood, American Avocet feeding

Early Seeding Maple

A maple tree stands on this small island, actually more of a struggle, as it doesn’t stand straight and there isn’t much more to it than what you see here in this image taken this week. This tree is an early bloomer, and a variety with bright red seed pods.

Ravenswood Pond, Maple Branch
Ravenswood Pond, Maple Branch

Finding a bird in the right light tucked in among these bright maple seeds is a treat. The next two images were taken a few weeks ago on a windy day when most of the wading birds were staying low. The light wasn’t great but I couldn’t resist the red.

Great Blue Heron in Maple Tree
Great Blue Heron in Maple Tree

A small flock of White Ibis has had this island on their daily route for most of the winter. I often see them sticking out of the pine trees on the far end of the island and was happy to spot these two on the trail side.

White Ibis in Maple Tree
White Ibis in Maple Tree – Peek-a-boo

Great Blue Herons, Out of the Wind

It was quite cold and windy yesterday and many of the Great Blue Herons around the rookery were down on the ground rather than standing in their partially built nests.

Great Blue Heron in Grass
Great Blue Heron in Grass

We have something new to watch for around the swamp as signs of a beaver chewing on trees and cypress knees have appeared over the last few days. In the picture below the shiny, lighter colored wood is newly exposed.

Great Blue Heron Under Trees
Great Blue Heron Under Trees, Cypress Knees Chewed

This images gives a better idea of how it looks. It will be interesting to see if beaver have taken up residence or were just passing by.

Cypress Knees with Bark Stripped Off
Cypress Knees with Bark Stripped Off

Great Blue Heron With Something

This is a tidal pond and the tide was out, and much lower than normal according to several regular visitors I spoke with, revealing vegetation that normally was under water. Add in the sun at a bad angle and this GBH was standing in front of an artsy looking canvas.

Great Blue Heron with Something
Great Blue Heron with Something

I missed the initial capture, becoming aware of the heron strutting around with a dripping blob. He was a bit far but the action was interesting.

Great Blue Heron with Something
Great Blue Heron with Something

Several times the heron dropped the whole mess and surprisingly no other bird tried to snatch it away.

Great Blue Heron with Something
Great Blue Heron with Something

At last, the heron worked the prize of lunch free from the tangle of vegetation. One gulp and it was gone.

Great Blue Heron with Something
Great Blue Heron with Something

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida
January 1, 2020

Great Blue Herons, Nesting

You may recognize the “skinny tree” as this GBH pair’s selected nesting spot. From a heron’s point of view it is a good location, surrounded by water.

Great Blue Heron Pair
Great Blue Heron Pair

They were starting from nothing as last year’s nest on this tree didn’t survive intervening storms.

Great Blue Heron Pair
Great Blue Heron Pair

The male had just brought a long stick, they mated, and then they took turns moving the stick around, so much so that I expected it to end up in the water below.

Great Blue Heron Pair
Great Blue Heron Pair

Despite their affectionate display I don’t think this pairing took. The male left and picked at some sticks across the pond but did not return. Eventually the female left, too. Sometimes they just leave to eat but don’t like to leave a started nest for interlopers so a committed couple takes turns. The next day six White Ibis were sunbathing here.

Great Blue Heron Pair
Great Blue Heron Pair