Tag Archives: Skinny Tree

Waiting

The top deck of the skinny tree has been occupied by a Great Blue Heron for several weeks. Some “nestoration” had been completed when I took this at the end of December.

Great Blue Heron Standing on Nest
Great Blue Heron Standing on Nest, December 29, 2020

Compare the nest to this image from December 14, before this nest site was claimed and a few orange leaves were still hanging on.

The Skinny Tree
The Skinny Tree

Great Blue Heron Stick Gathering

Another nesting season has begun for the Great Blue Herons and this male was on a mission to find some nest material.

Great Blue Heron Flying to Pond Edge
Great Blue Heron Flying to Pond Edge

You can see from looking at the stick selection on the ground around him that he should have considered going a bit further from the nest.

Great Blue Heron Looking for Nest Material
Great Blue Heron Looking for Nest Material

He eventually found a small stick.

Great Blue Heron Flying With Stick
Great Blue Heron Flying With Stick

The route to his nest in the skinny tree was into the sun so this isn’t much of an image but gives you the idea of the action. And that the skinny tree is still standing.

Great Blue Heron Flying to Mate in Nest
Great Blue Heron Flying to Mate in Nest

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
January 4, 2021

Gadwall

A few Gadwalls have been hanging out at Ravenswood Pond for the winter. They have been pretty quick to move to the middle or far side of the pond if they sense any human activity. On this day this small group took their time passing by me.

Gadwall
Gadwalls

They will be heading out soon on their spring migration.

Gadwall
Gadwall

This scene is looking the length of this rectangular, man-made pond. The “skinny tree” I sometimes mention is hosting a Great Blue Heron and can be made out on the right.

Pond with Gadwalls
Ravsenswood Pond with Gadwalls

There is duck weed all around the pond and some other bright green pond vegetation has thrived on the right-hand side.

Great Blue Herons, Nesting

You may recognize the “skinny tree” as this GBH pair’s selected nesting spot. From a heron’s point of view it is a good location, surrounded by water.

Great Blue Heron Pair
Great Blue Heron Pair

They were starting from nothing as last year’s nest on this tree didn’t survive intervening storms.

Great Blue Heron Pair
Great Blue Heron Pair

The male had just brought a long stick, they mated, and then they took turns moving the stick around, so much so that I expected it to end up in the water below.

Great Blue Heron Pair
Great Blue Heron Pair

Despite their affectionate display I don’t think this pairing took. The male left and picked at some sticks across the pond but did not return. Eventually the female left, too. Sometimes they just leave to eat but don’t like to leave a started nest for interlopers so a committed couple takes turns. The next day six White Ibis were sunbathing here.

Great Blue Heron Pair
Great Blue Heron Pair

The Skinny Tree, Down The Pond

Just as it was starting to rain and we were heading out  a Great Blue Heron landed in the Skinny Tree. It was a long, soft shot, but I do like all the colors around the edge of the pond.

Great Blue Heron in Skinny Tree
Great Blue Heron in Skinny Tree, Few Ducks in the Water

If you zoom in you’ll see that all of last year’s nesting material is gone from the tree. The GBH nest was where the Heron is standing; Great Egrets built three nests lower down, one on top of the Wood Duck box. I expect a Great Blue Heron pair will start building it up soon as this has been one of the prime nesting sites on this pond for many years.

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