Tag Archives: Nesting

Red-headed Woodpecker

The Red-headed Woodpecker is a bird that I have only glimpsed, generally flying away from me. Then a few weeks ago I saw two in less than ten minutes!

Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker

The second one, perhaps a mate to the first, tormented Ted and me with knocking that we could not locate. Who knew they could make such a racket inside a tree?

Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker

Once out of the cavity he stuck to the shady side of the tree.

Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker

Anhingas

Anhingas are beautiful birds in an understated way. During mating season the color around their eye intensifies to a rich minty green.

Anhinga
Anhinga on nest with mate standing guard

The male, on the left below, is all black and the female has a tan neck and shoulders.

Anhinga Pair
Anhinga Pair displaying mating behavior

These images are from a few years ago, a post I started but left unfinished. This year we are not seeing nearly as many Anhinga pairs at the rookery as other years.

Anhinga Sunning
Anhinga Sunning

Great Egret, Nest Material

I saw this Great Egret land and expected him to get run off by the occupant of the nest about 8 feet (2 M) above him.

Great Egret
Great Egret

He poked around a bit, and was surprisingly ignored by the Great Egret in the nest.

Great Egret
Great Egret

Suddenly he swooped down to the water…

Great Egret Dropping To Water
Great Egret Dropping To Water

… and came up with a stick!

Great Egret Flying With Stick
Great Egret Flying With Stick

After circling around the tree he made a nice landing at the top, delivering the stick to his mate. Turns out he didn’t go far from home for this delivery of nesting material.

Great Egret Bringing Stick To Nest
Great Egret Bringing Stick To Nest

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
March 17, 2021

Great Blue Heron Bringing Nest Material

This Great Blue Heron had been poking around the edge of the pond for quite awhile before deciding on this stick.

Great Blue Heron Flying With Nest Material
Great Blue Heron Flying With Nest Material

It’s hard to tell from a distance, but I would not be surprised if a stick got hung up in the tree on one of these trips.

Great Blue Heron Flying With Nest Material
Great Blue Heron Flying With Nest Material

This time he made a successful delivery.

Great Blue Heron Flying With Nest Material
Great Blue Heron Flying With Nest Material

The couple take plenty of breaks, nest building goes in fits and starts, while another GBH is likely laying on eggs on the nest below.

Great Blue Heron Pair on Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair on Nest

Floundering GBH Couple, Round 2

I arrived at the nest of the  Floundering GBH Couple a few days later just as they started to mate.

Great Blue Heron Pair Mating
Great Blue Heron Pair Mating

A quick love bite on the neck

Great Blue Heron Pair Mating
Great Blue Heron Pair Mating

Some tricky maneuvering among the limbs proved they have the mating part figured out

Great Blue Heron Pair Mating
Great Blue Heron Pair Mating

The male quickly flew off in search of nest material…

Great Blue Heron Going For Stick
Great Blue Heron Going For Stick

He promptly returned with a small offering…

Great Blue Heron Bringing Stick to Nest
Great Blue Heron Bringing Stick to Nest

…much to the female’s delight.

Great Blue Heron Bringing Stick to Nest
Great Blue Heron Bringing Stick to Nest

The nest is bigger than last week, but it still has a bit to go before it is family ready.

Floundering GBH Couple

She was at the nest, waiting expectantly as her mate returned, making a grand entrance.

Great Blue Heron pair at Nest
Great Blue Heron pair at Nest, Scrawny Nest

He came empty-beaked: no sticks, no food.

Great Blue Heron pair at Nest
Great Blue Heron pair at Nest

And tried to defend his actions.

Great Blue Heron pair at Nest
Great Blue Heron pair at Nest

Notice how small the nest is; no where near ready for a family.

Great Blue Heron pair at Nest
Great Blue Heron pair at Nest

There seemed to be some disagreement about what to do next.

Great Blue Heron pair at Nest
Great Blue Heron pair at Nest

Another Stick for the Nest

After the Stuck Stick episode the Great Blue Herons had better luck with the next try.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

Once the Heron turns you can see this is also a long stick.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

The female sees her mate coming…

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

and throws her head back in a hearty welcome.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest – the stuck stick still in place towards the left

February 10, 2021

A Stuck Stick

I arrived at this Great Blue Heron nest just as the male was delivering a long stick for the nest. The female went to work.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

But the stick was wedged in place.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

She thought about it while her mate wisely looked the other way.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

She pulled but that stick did not give.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

GBH have short attention spans: she went back to prodding the sticks already in place and a few moments later he flew off for another bit of nest material.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

February 10, 2021