This page contains more photographs than normal. We have been watching, and photo documenting, a rookery of Little Blue Herons for a few weeks now.
We have watched the adults raise and train the young to survive on their own. Sadly over time the numbers of young seem to have dwindled.
The photographs here display an adult at the last step of raising young. This is getting them to take that leap and fly off over the rookery (keeping in mind who is always swimming below).
The adult will still visit the young, but no food is provided. And they are hungry. At some point the adults have brought food, but left it in sight on other branches or trees. The first step in flying is for the young to go to the food, not wait for home delivery.
Being hungry the juveniles will pretty much climb all over the parent demanding food. At this point none is given.
In the photograph above the young bird is physically trying to get food from the parent. The adult is pretty much getting mugged here.
At this time the adult attempts to lure the juvenile away, and off the branches. Looks like she’s running for safety actually.
Junior here falls for the trick and it’s off to the races.
Next the adult jumps off and heads over the swamp, there is no thought to the alligators and water below. Flying with ease, looks great.
The juvenile ran full speed after the parent, heading for the feedom of the open air.
Screech….. HELL NO !!! Above he has his feet dug in tight.
I had been hoping to get that first flight. He was still sitting in the sun when we finally left. By now he is flying around but it would have been really something to watch him take that first leap off the edge.