I haven’t photographed this Great Blue Heron nest very often even though it is on the same pond as the others I’ve shown with chicks. The light never seems right or the birds’ position aren’t right. This day was a little different.
Either by instinct or from learning from a parent, this Great Blue Heron chick was defending himself from a Great Egret Intruder. This is the same nest in the Skinny Tree featured in Scram, Great Egret where the GBH adult was protecting his nest.
The chick made himself really big.
I suspect they’ve done this before and shortly the Great Egret went back to poking at sticks on the outer branches of the tree.
The “Skinny Tree” sees lots of wading bird occupants but this is the first time I’ve seen a potential nest builder check out the roof. In fact, the only bird I remember seeing perched on top was a King Fisher.
This Great Egret took a moment to scan the sky as a low airplane passed by. The Skinny Tree is only about 3 miles (5 KM) from Charleston International Airport and Joint Base Charleston so these birds get used to sharing the skies with all sorts of aircraft.
I’m not sure how this next image might display on your various devices due to its height, but wanted to show the levels. The Great Egret was really interested in occupying a nesting site in the trees branches, which are already occupied.
In a broader and lower view I captured the Great Blue Heron driving a Great Egret away as he protected his chick, which can be seen next to the tree trunk behind the adult.
I watched this Great Blue Heron tend her nest over the course of a recent afternoon. These two images were taken about two hours apart, in the order shown.
The heron had been laying on the nest in between, presumably on eggs, and periodically stretched and poked at the nest. The clouds dissipated as the afternoon wore on providing a nicer blue background for the later image.
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.
These two showed off their finery as part of the greeting ritual.
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.