We are at that time of year when there is a lot of Great Blue Heron activity in the swamp at the end of the day with last minute nest building, one mate returning to the nest after feeding, and new-comers looking for a spot. Unfortunately the sun has dipped below the tree line and there is very little light to capture the action.
So silhouettes are an interesting option. I particularly like this next one with the heron’s foot flexed.
This heron settled down, probably wondering where to spend the night. Not all of the singles are paired with a mate yet with a nest to return to.
Another small bird in poor light, but a nice silhouette with the dried berry in his beak. I thought he might stay to eat more but moved into a tree with more cover. Maybe that dried berry wasn’t satisfying.
I had wandered away from the heron rookery when not much was going on. When I returned about an hour later this Great Blue Heron nest building action was unfolding. It was much darker in the shade than I anticipated but I didn’t want to risk loosing the stick presentation so didn’t change camera settings, ending up with underexposed images.
I liked the artsy silhouette look and look forward to another opportunity to get brighter images.
Great Blue Heron Pair Stick Ritual
After the female gave the stick her approval the male lined it up for the pass off.
The female turned the stick…
…nearly wacking her mate in the head.
The female placed the stick in the nest while the male got a closer look and gave her a gentle nudge.
The male stood back as the female poked the stick into its proper place.
I’ve seen all sizes of birds land in this dead tree, from swallows to eagles. Sometimes they share, but this Great Egret had it all to himself. It is protected on a small island created by canals at the edge of two old rice fields. Humans can’t get to it and it has a 360 degree view over several impoundments, useful for scoping out a bird’s next meal.
This was taken shortly after sun rise just about into the sun.