Tag Archives: Skinny Tree

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

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

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.

Fall Colors

There is a touch of fall color in the “skinny tree” which earlier this year hosted one Great Blue Heron  and several Great Egret families. Now the tree serves as an occasional landing spot for a passing bird.

Anhinga Drying in Sun
Anhinga Drying in Sun

This Anhinga chose it as a drying off spot and executed a smooth landing.

Anhinga Drying in Sun
Anhinga Drying in Sun

He then turned his back to the sun and spread his wings to dry off.

Anhinga Drying in Sun
Anhinga Drying in Sun

Grackle with a Double Snack

With his mouth full of bugs this Grackle paused a couple minutes at the edge of the pond before flying off to his nest.

Grackle with Bugs
Grackle with Bugs

I didn’t see him make the catch and have no idea how he got these two bugs in his beak at once. Maybe the effort was why he rested before heading to his nest.

Grackle with Bugs
Grackle with Bugs

He eventually flew out to this tree, aka “the skinny tree,” where his nest seemed to be in the broken Wood Duck box seen on the far side of the trunk.

Grackle Above Alligator
Grackle Above Alligator

An Alligator was patrolling the water around the tree. The Grackle dive-bombed the Alligator several times with no effect.

There was at least one turtle in the water and there is one Great Blue Heron and three Great Egret nests with chicks in the branches above, either of which would be more enticing to the gator.

Great Blue Heron Family in the Skinny Tree

The “Skinny Tree” so named because for its single trunk. I would never be surprised to get to the rookery and find out it had fallen over.

Great Blue Heron with Two Chicks
Great Blue Heron with Two Chicks

This season a Great Blue Heron pair is raising a family here.

Great Blue Heron with Two Chicks
Great Blue Heron with Two Chicks

These chicks are not yet four weeks old and the parents are already leaving them alone for hours. This leaves them vulnerable to attack by Great Egrets and birds of prey.

Great Blue Heron Chicks
Great Blue Heron Chicks

The Skinny Tree has Occupants

A pair of Great Blue Herons have started a nest in the “skinny tree.” On December 28 I posted that this tree hadn’t sparked much interest among the nesting birds.

These were shot with the Sony Alpha 6500, 55-210 mm lens at 1/1000 sec, 129mm.

Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting
Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting

The leafless trees in the background reflect a very harsh light which I toned down with Lightroom and Color FX Pro.

Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting
Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting

The male had a successful landing but the female had to brace herself to keep her footing.

Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting
Great Blue Heron Pair Nesting

This pair may only be testing each other out as mates. Despite bringing sticks for the nest and some attention to the female, the male flew off to take a stick to another tree.  The female didn’t look pleased and eventually flew off and came back with her own stick.