Posing in front of a swamp cypress tree. A look like a 1940’s movie star.
Flowers still bloom in Charleston, South Carolina.
Old Magnolia Plantation building wall provided the background.
Even though they can fly, and almost hunt, both return to the nest.
Unlike other Heron siblings these 2 actually greet each other when they meet.
I have seen other nest mates be much less friendly towards siblings.
Great Blue Heron nests are out in the sun, top of trees, surrounded by water. This means right out in the (southern) sun. By May and June that’s hot.
Not only did these two learn the joy of flight, but they can now land in a tree, in the shade. And that apparently is a big deal to them.
The young birds kept the nest in sight, even flew back when an Egret landed there. The shade kept drawing them back. Can’t say I blame them.
This is one of the young Herons, strolling down a trail. The nest is still in sight so if things go bad it’s a quick trip home.
The difference in the 2 birds we followed and a few others on the far side is striking. The ‘tale’ chicks walk around and fly close to the trails and people. The others not so much.
Our 2 have seen people watching them since birth. They are more concerned with the Egrets than me.
It seems, finally, that both young Great Blue Herons have moved off. At least most of the time. I did have doubts about the younger chick since there was little interest in flying. At one point I had thought perhaps he was injured during one of the Egret attacks.
Watching the older sibling flying around the swamp probably prompted flight.
They do return here out of habit. But I have seen them enjoying the shade in trees rather than out in the hot sun. By now the adults rarely bring food.
As I watch and find them I will continue to photograph their progress. However it won’t be long until they blend in with all the other young herons that live here.
It’s a difficult life but they made the first, and most important, step.
Now the older of the two leaves the nest for long periods of time. I followed him down to a wet weed area along side the swamp on a trip.
We did get pretty close since he was in ‘full hunting’ mode. At least that’s how it looked.
While he looked the part I think it’s good an adult still brings food. I didn’t see him catch anything. He better practice because the adults are going to stop showing up, real soon.
It looks to have a happy ending. These two survived to (almost) adulthood.
Both of the young from this nest (the one we tracked) are flying. I have not seen them both off at the same time, but photographer friends have.
They still return to the nest, and a meal is delivered from time to time. But now they have the next phase, hunting on their own.
The image above is the younger of the two. Still mystified how the big ‘brother’ just goes off on his own in the air.
With luck we will have a few more photographs before they disappear for good. Food, and then travel (South America maybe) is next.