Tag Archives: Great Egret

Great Egret Chick Feeding Time

The Great Egret chicks waste no time when the adult returns to the nest with food. It’s every chick for himself, and the first order of business is to latch onto the adult’s beak or neck.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

The egrets’ necks are very flexible and the chicks know how to encourage the regurgitation of their dinner.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

The adult always takes a pause and looks skyward before producing the meal.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

Then he bends one more time and one chick opens wide while the other watches.

It was hard to tell if they both got something this trip. The entire maneuver got repeated but they were all moving around so much I lost track of which chick was which.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

When the chicks were smaller the adult would supervise and maybe have to do some enticing with the food to get them to eat. Now that they are nearly full-grown the adult quickly moves out of reach of those sharp beaks.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

Taken 5/29/2019

Great Egret Triplet Chicks

The chicks have little control over their movements, they flop around the nest fighting to stay upright.

Great Egret Triplet Chicks
Great Egret Triplet Chicks

I marvel every year I watch this that any of them manage to stay in the nest.

Great Egret Triplet Chicks
Great Egret Triplet Chicks

The adults never take action to reign them in, but do provide some protection when they are this age from attackers.

Great Egret Triplet Chicks
Great Egret Triplet Chicks

5/22/2019

Great Egret Lift Off

I’ve commented before on birds’ desire to occupy the highest point. This applies even if it is just a clump of sticks in the pond. We’ve had a lot of wind lately and small branches and other debris is getting pushed around in the ponds. This Great Egret found an attractive twig collection to drop in on.

Great Egret
Great Egret

Then it started to sink and he took off, straight up into the air.

Great Egret Lift Off
Great Egret Lift Off

One flap of the wings and he was off.

Great Egret Lift Off
Great Egret Lift Off

Banking smoothly left he decided to try another spot.

Great Egret Lift Off
Great Egret Lift Off

Scram, Great Egret, 2

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.

Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself
Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself

The chick made himself really big.

Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself
Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself

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.

Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself
Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself

Wood Stork King of the Ramp

A few dozen wading birds had gathered for easy pickings of fish in the low water as the pond was draining for repairs to be made to the outlet piping. A Wood Stork had  the newly exposed Alligator ramp all to himself and wanted to keep it that way.

Wood Stork and Great Egrets
Wood Stork and Great Egrets

A few of the Great Egrets were squabbling over a spot on the ramp while The Wood Stork stood his ground on the high end.

Wood Stork and Great Egrets
Wood Stork and Great Egrets

They all settled in a truce, for a few minutes.

Wood Stork and Great Egrets
Wood Stork and Great Egrets

The water level in this pond is normally maintained at about three feet (1 meter) in this section, leaving just the top of the ramp exposed. The duck weed, mosquito fern and other aquatic plants settled in a drape over the Alligator ramp as the water drained out.

 

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.