Tag Archives: Juvenile Bird

Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet

One Black Australian Swan pair had a single cygnet on my recent visit to Swan Lake and Iris Gardens.

 Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet
Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet

The youngster was all about practicing his swimming skills.

 Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet
Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet

He didn’t get too far from the parents, who were quick to catch up with him if he paddled off.

 Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet
Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet

Just a little ball of fluff, he exhibited no concern about forging ahead.

 Black Australian Swan Cygnet
Black Australian Swan Cygnet

Owned and operated by the City of Sumter, SC, Swan Lake Iris Gardens is home to all eight known species of swan.

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

New Anhinga Chick

A few wading bird pairs are just now hatching young even as some of the older chicks have fledged. I saw just one tiny chick underneath this female nesting Anhinga–you can just see the head at the lower left of the adult. Some of the other broods this year have had four chicks.

Female Anhinga and Chick
Female Anhinga and new Chick, Older chick behind

There may be more to come in this nest as the eggs may hatch over several days.

Female Anhinga and Chick
Female Anhinga and Chick

Anhingas feed their young by regurgitating food which the chicks actively retrieve by sticking their heads up the parent’s esophagus. Painful looking, especially when the chicks get bigger.

Female Anhinga and Chick
Female Anhinga and Chick – Feeding Time

Click on images for larger view.

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 Blue Heron Chick Test Flight

This Great Blue Heron chick took a test “fly – hop” from the branch above his nest and over his sibling.

Great Blue Heron Chick Test Flight
Great Blue Heron Chick Test Flight

The sibling was less than impressed, but the flyer seemed pretty pleased with himself.

Great Blue Heron Chick Test Flight
Great Blue Heron Chick Test Flight

He liked it so much he climbed back up to the top and flapped his wings in the breeze.

Great Blue Heron Chick Test Wings
Great Blue Heron Chick Test Wings

I didn’t see him lift off again; he was content to watch the world from a higher vantage point.

Great Blue Heron Chick Test Wings
Great Blue Heron Chick Test Wings

Great Blue Heron Chicks Growing Up Fast

I don’t know just when they hatched but these two Great Blue Heron chicks were checking out their world on March 31st.

Great Blue Heron Chicks March 31
Great Blue Heron Chicks March 31

They were able to sit up and squawk for several minutes at a time.

Great Blue Heron Chicks March 31
Great Blue Heron Chicks March 31

I didn’t get any good images in between, but by May 5th they had the appearance of adults.

Great Blue Heron Chicks May 5
Great Blue Heron Chicks May 5

Able to stretch their necks for a better view, their world is just this nest. They are totally reliant on the parents bringing food.

Great Blue Heron Chicks May 5
Great Blue Heron Chicks May 5

On May 22nd their feathers looked more mature and the chicks spend more time grooming.

Great Blue Heron Chicks May 22
Great Blue Heron Chicks May 22

I have not seen these two chicks fly yet, but it won’t be long. It has been brutally hot here, 100 F (38 C) predicted for today, and these nests are out in the open with no shade. The chicks will do a pant-like behavior and sit with their wings out to help regulate temperature, which hopefully will help them survive.

Mama Wood Duck Plus Eight

Shortly after the nice surprise of seeing a Wood Duck with two ducklings on Sunday I came upon this one with eight ducklings.

Female Wood Duck with Eight Ducklings
Female Wood Duck with Eight Ducklings

They were paddling along all together in a tight group at first but eventually spread out enough for me to count them.

Female Wood Duck with Eight Ducklings
Female Wood Duck with Eight Ducklings

They followed the pond to the corner then did an about face and headed back the way they came, sticking pretty close to mom. The water was reflecting the dead brown grass on the bank so this image isn’t that pretty, but you can see each duckling distinctly.

Female Wood Duck with Eight Ducklings
Female Wood Duck with Eight Ducklings

GBH Chick Wingercizing

After checking that the danger had passed from the intruding Great Egret the Great Blue Heron chick fluffed his feathers back down to regular size.

Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing
Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing

Then he took the opportunity to wingercize, flapping his wings in preparation for learning to fly.

Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing
Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing

He didn’t lift off this time, but did do some single wing stretches to complete his work out.

Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing
Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing