Tag Archives: Skinny Tree

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.

Great Blue Heron in the Skinny Tree

I call it the “skinny tree” because there isn’t much to it. It is not completely dead, but not far from it. I’ve taken hundreds of photographs of various birds in this tree, which sits in water about 60 feet / 20 meters (as measured using Google Maps) from the edge of the pond.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

As mating and nesting season has gotten under way last year’s nest, which was used by a Great Blue Heron family and the one below it used by Great Egrets, are completely gone.

This week I’ve seen a couple of Great Blues come to this spot and steal a few loose twigs left behind after late summer storms took the rest.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

If there is going to be a nest here this season there is a lot of work to be done. This Heron may be holding the spot while her mate is off finding foundation branches or she may be surveying the pond for a better potential home. We are about to have some cooler weather with the next ten nights going below freezing. This might put a damper on the whole nesting business.

View a GBH in a complete nest on this spot from February, 2017

View a GBH Chick in the nest on this spot from June, 2017