Tag Archives: Nesting

Vireo Nest, Empty

I’ve checked back on the White-eyed Vireo nest from my June 15th post a few times, and about a week later got a similar image, without the rain.

White-eyed Vireo on Nest
White-eyed Vireo on Nest, June 18

Two weeks later, the nest was empty. Could chicks have hatched and fledged in that short time? All About Birds says their nestling period is 9 – 11 days, so yes it is possible.

Vireo Nest, Now Empty
Vireo Nest, Now Empty

Once I was sure there were no birds in the nest I got closer for a side view. Although a bit shabby looking at the bottom, what an engineering marvel this nest was.

Vireo Nest, Now Empty
Vireo Nest, Now Empty, July 3

Also from All About Birds:

Males and females build a pendulous nest suspended from a Y-shaped fork. They collect insect silk and spiderweb and attach it to the fork until it makes a lacy shell. They then stick leaves, bark, plant fibers, rootlets, and bits of paper to the spiderweb shell. They also stick lichens, moss, or leaves to the outside for additional camouflage. The female lines the nest with rootlets, fine grass, or hair. It takes the pair around 3–5 days to complete the nest.

Will These Sticks Make a Nest? Yes!

In mid February I posed a question “Will These Sticks Make a Nest?”  with doubts about the whole thing staying put.

This is one of my images from that post showing the scrawny nest and poor housing support.

Great Blue Heron on Nest
Great Blue Heron on Nest – February

I’ve been back a couple times since then and seen the parents had built the nest up quite a bit and two chicks had hatched.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron in nest

I finally got some decent images this week.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron

There was just the one chick. Most of the other GBH chicks in nearby nests have fledged. Sometimes the young will return to the nest even after they are feeding themselves, probably for familiarity.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron

If this one hasn’t flown he will soon as the parents stop bringing food at some point and he’ll have no choice.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron

Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Twig Gathering

Usually I say stick gathering with images of a heron working on nest material. This Yellow-crowned Night-heron was only interested in small twigs, and despite all his efforts I never saw him take anything to the nest.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

Ah, maybe this is the one!

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

No, he dropped that one and poked around for another option.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

You can hardly see the twig sticking out of his beak, and after a minute he dropped that one, too.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

Prothonotary Warbler Checking On Nest

This Prothonotary Warbler’s nest is in that cavity, and the parent spent several minutes poking his head in, like he was moving something around.

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

I did not see if he brought something on this trip to the nest, like he did when I spotted the parent two days before: Prothonotary Warbler Bringing Food Home

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

The hole is about my eye level and I did see one chick beak when I passed by.

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

The parent did fly off with a fecal sac, something I hadn’t seen up close before.

Prothonotary Warbler With Fecal Sack
Prothonotary Warbler With Fecal Sac

Prothonotary Warbler Bringing Food Home

Sitting just off the trail this Prothonotary Warbler was perched, but not singing, which is a common behavior. I didn’t notice at first that his beak was stuffed with lunch.

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

Not for himself, but he was taking this meal to his nest.

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

He quickly stuck his head in…

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

then flew off for another serving.

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

I didn’t hear any chicks so suspect he was feeding his brooding mate.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron at Nest

Luck and being aware of movement play a role in nature photography. I happened to catch this fellow moving and only when I got a little closer and peered around some limbs could I tell it was a Yellow-crowned Night-heron.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

I was then surprised to see a nest, with a nice curtain of Spanish Moss on one side and leaves on the other.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

There were two adults present and after a bit one of them stepped out for a photograph or two.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

Great Egret, Precarious Nest Position

The Great Egrets have chosen some different spots to nest this year, including this one that I can almost touch from the nature trail.  I saw two eggs a few days before I took these images.

Viability of any chicks is at risk from alligator raiding, hawks, and the likely probability of human intervention.

Great Egret on Nest
Great Egret on Nest, Skinny Tree in the Background, Late afternoon sun

S/he does have a wonderful view of the pond. Although I’m not sure they notice, there is also some entertainment in the skinny tree off to her left with a GBH nest and at least one Anhinga nest.

Great Egret on Nest
Great Egret on Nest

Back-lit by the setting sun, the Egret was firmly in place when I walked back past the nest.

Great Egret on Nest
Great Egret on Nest

Black-crowned Night Heron

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens re-opened on Friday for visitors to walk the property. We went for the first time today and this was the first bird I photographed.

A Black-crowned Night Heron was peering down into a tangle of an evergreen tree.

Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron

Some flapping in the tree’s interior ensued and I could just see another heron laying on a nest. It also looks like there is another laying in the upper right of this image.

Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron Nest

After some more flapping and moving about that I couldn’t see, one of the herons left.

Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron

He didn’t go far at first, perching in a nearby tree before he flew off–probably to find a meal.

Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron

Great Egret, Nest Material

A Great Egret was going back and forth the length of the pond gathering sticks for his nest.

Great Egret Flying With Nest Material
Great Egret Flying With Nest Material

He flew close to the water on quite a few trips, creating some reflection opportunities.

Great Egret Flying With Nest Material
Great Egret Flying With Nest Material

Along with some duck weed there was a variety of other vegetative flotsam floating across the pond.

Great Egret Flying With Nest Material
Great Egret Flying With Nest Material

April 2019