Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Great Blue Heron

I am linking up with World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes

 This is the third year in a row that the Herons have returned to nest in the same area and trees in my neighborhood. Even my neighbors are getting into seeing and hearing the herons.

 Above are three of the herons flying above the pine trees in my yard. I believe there is more than one heron nest, since I have seen more than one heron at one time. I can always tell a heron in flight with it's long bill, neck and those long legs hanging out the back.




I was able to make a short video while I stood watching the heron from my deck.




They do make the weirdest noises. I have watched one heron in the trees across from my driveway. The heron was breaking off branches to take back to it's nest. It is amazing that these large birds actually nest in the tree tops and not down on the ground. When the heron got back to the nest with the stick, I heard a lot of squawking, I believe it was the female saying "about time you got home" HaHa!


The heron seemed to be picky about what branches it wanted. sometimes breaking off a branch only to drop it and try for another one it liked better.


It looks like progress is being made on the one nest I was able to find. I do believe there is more than one. Above you can see the Heron butt and underside while it was bent over re-arranging the sticks on the nest.



The Great Blue Heron usually nest in colonies which is called a Rookery. The Herons are smart building their nest in colonies, it guarantees that the nest will be watched and protected by another heron. The first year we heard the squawking and squabbling we were not sure what was going on until I started seeing the herons flying to and from the nest. I read that 3-5 eggs are laid in the nest and by 8 weeks 1-4 of the chicks survive. The chicks start testing out their legs by walking near the edge of the nest and stretching their wings. The Great Blue Herons can live until the age of 17.



To see more beautiful birds check out Springman's World Bird Wednesday  and Michelle's Nature Notes

48 comments:

rainfield61 said...

It is so good that you are getting closer to these herons.

Dan Huber said...

Wonderful photos. Very neat to see a nest.

Linda McCane said...

Very nice photos of the heron! And great information on them...I have never been lucky enough to see the nest - but I am always happy when I get to see the birds! You have some wonderful close shots!

kulasa said...

yes I saw the Heron butt...loved watching the Heron fly away...made me wish I had wings...

Leora said...

I finally saw a heron last summer, but I didn't have my good camera with me. I can't imagine them flying - they look so big.

Wanda..plain~N~simple said...

How wonderful for you to be so close to them and watch their nesting progress. I agree with you, one would think they would nest closer to the ground, but they must have their reasons!

Pat said...

Loved seeing the Herons, Eileen. We have them, here at the lake and we had them on our farm pond. Never got close to them though. I heard one this morning, when I was shooting the sunrise from the deck. It's one of those sounds I will always associate with our place here.

TexWisGirl said...

so glad you've got nesting activity nearby. we get them here all year round but i've never seen their nests.

alicesg said...

So lovely to view nature right so close to you. Your world is wonderful.

grammie g said...

Hi Eileen...How lucky for you to be in the observation seat, and not have to go anywhere!!
Looks like you are going to have a fun time watching for the chicks to appear....great shots and video!!
Grace

Karin M. said...

A wonderful and interesting post with very nice photos...
Thanks for sharing ...
Best regards, Karin

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful to have the rookery where you can see it every day -- almost right in your own backkyard. My walking group, back in Oregon, walked past a G-B rookery often so we could watch the progress, but I never did make it every day (although I always wanted to). thanks for sharing -- I loved this.

Connie Smiley said...

Interesting video, Eileen--they are so graceful, aren't they? Just noticed you have a Golden Retriever--looks so sweet, just like our Barley.

Denise said...

How neat to see all that nesting activity with the herons. Loved the video too, thanks Eileen.

Icy BC said...

I love the photo of the heron in the tree! Such a fantastic shot.

NixBlog said...

Wonderful post, Eileen. The second photo of the heron amongst the branches is amazing!

Gary said...

Great sequence Eileen!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

EG CameraGirl said...

Although I have seen many blue herons, I have NEVER seen their nests except in photos!

Gillian Olson said...

Very interesting post about Herons, they are facinating birds to watch.

HansHB said...

Very good heron photos! Perfect post for WBW!

Larry said...

Great shots of the Great Blues Eileen! It must be exciting to watch them building their nests and watching the chicks grow. Thanks for the cool video showing them breaking out the sticks too.

SandyCarlson said...

These photos are really impressive!

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Eileen, So glad you have the herons nearby. The Great Blue Herons are interesting to watch and I enjoy seeing them around here when they hunt. I sort of think of their sound as similar to a distant dog bark or a muffled "Cup-cup" kind of squawk sound. Have a super good day tomorrow!

Carletta said...

Terrific video Eileen!
I think I saw a heron fly by my sunroom window this past weekend. We have a few ponds in the area so I'm keeping my eyes open.
You must be so excited to have them so close.
Keep us posted!

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

That sure must have been awesome watching them get the nest together. An exciting experience for you.

Lew said...

Nice to have the herons so close! Several years ago a pair hung out at the lake in Baker Park.

heyBJK said...

That is awesome, Eileen! I have to say I'm a bit jealous that you have them nesting nearby!

mick said...

Very interesting photos. I hope you can keep watching the herons and then keep sharing the photos.

John said...

Hi Eileen,
Interesting photos and video! A bird that I always confuse with our Grey Heron, they look so similar!
J
Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

Nature Rambles said...

How wonderful to see the birds building their nests. Great captures, as always!

Libby Rodriguez said...

Wow! Exciting to have them nesting right there. These are really good photos as well. I wonder how big the eggs will be?!?

Dianne said...

the heron is a wondrous bird
a bit like tiny dinosaurs :)
there are a few living by a creek near me but I have never been able to catch them doing anything but sitting and looking regal
your shots and video are great!

Crafty Gardener said...

wonderful series of photos, I love to take photos of the herons

jewaicious said...

What beautiful captures. Lucky you to be able to have seen them and photographed them.

the cuby poet said...

We don't have blue herons only grey ones. These are great photos along with the video clip. Herons nesting in tree never seems quite right, I agree with you.

Rambling Woods said...

Are you watching the Cornell Heron cam Eileen? These are amazing shots you got and the video of taking the sticks and they only weigh about 5 pounds...they do a bark I've heard, not a sweet call...Michelle

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Lucky you to have had this wonderful opportunity.

laurak@forestwalkart said...

i have never seen their nests before!! wow! so nice to have so many herons close by!!
and i never realized they can live to be 17!!!!
it'll be so exciting if you can see the young chicks!!
terrific pictures!

NatureFootstep said...

so great to have those beauties close by. Lot of opportunities to study them.

bailey-road.com said...

How wonderful to have them nesting so close to you! Great shots of the nest-building activity.

Carver said...

Wonderful shots of the great blue heron.

Island Rambles Blog said...

lovely video and shots of the herons..hope to see more of them when they nest.

Debbie said...

oh i really LOVED the video, the sounds were super cool. i have never seen a heron in the trees, behaving that way!!

you got some beautiful flight shots!!

Springman said...

Great pictures and wonderful information!!!

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful Heron pictures.

Julie G. said...

Oh how lucky you are to be able to observe the nest building behavior of herons. I would love seeing such a thing. My fingers area crossed for many successful broods. Terrific photographs, Eileen!

Kathie Brown said...

What a lovely sight to see. You are so lucky to have them so close to you!

Betty Manousos@ CUT and DRY said...

hi eileen this is a beautiful set of photos!!
i really like the one with the tallest hotel. so inspiring!
the heron shots are great, too.

wish you and yours a happy and blessed easter!

xo