Tag Archives: Great Blue Heron

The Skinny Tree: A New Use

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.

Great Egret Perched on Dead Tree
Great Egret Perched on Dead Tree

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.

Occupied Skinny Tree
Occupied Skinny Tree, Great Blue Heron nest, Great Egret nest

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.

Occupied Skinny Tree
Occupied Skinny Tree, Great Blue Heron and two Great Egret nests – click image for larger view.

Great Blue Heron On Nest

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.

Great Blue Heron Tending Nest
Great Blue Heron Tending Nest

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.

Great Blue Heron Tending Nest
Great Blue Heron Tending Nest

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