Tag Archives: Tale Of Two Herons

A Tale Of Two Herons: We Have Liftoff

After watching these 2 birds from the egg, through near fatal attacks, until full size, our biggest fear was to arrive one day to an empty nest. A story with no ending. However…

A Tale Of Two Herons, We Have Liftoff - Click To Enlarge
A Tale Of Two Herons, We Have Liftoff – Click To Enlarge
A Tale Of Two Herons, We Have Liftoff - Click To Enlarge
A Tale Of Two Herons, We Have Liftoff – Click To Enlarge

The larger of the 2 was moving around outside the nest. Bouncing with the wind, and just staring into space.

A Tale Of Two Herons, We Have Liftoff - Click To Enlarge
A Tale Of Two Herons, We Have Liftoff – Click To Enlarge

Suddenly he just jumped, and I was completely unprepared. Obviously he wasn’t.

A Tale Of Two Herons, We Have Liftoff - Click To Enlarge
A Tale Of Two Herons, We Have Liftoff – Click To Enlarge

A slight drop, a bit lower than was comfortably,  but a flight that was pretty smooth.

A Tale Of Two Herons, We Have Liftoff - Click To Enlarge
A Tale Of Two Herons, We Have Liftoff – Click To Enlarge

The landing could have been better, at the least a better spot than in the middle of the tree branches.

Both of us breathed a sigh of relief on the landing. The heron was funny since all of a sudden he was looking around, breathing heavy, in a ‘oh ____ what have I done’ moment.

Tale Of Two Herons: Feeding Teenagers

The times has come where the young, at least one, is almost the size of the adults. No fly time yet, but they practice in place now.

Tale Of Two Herons, Feeding Teenagers - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Feeding Teenagers – Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Feeding Teenagers - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Feeding Teenagers – Click To Enlarge

The smaller juvenile still waits for an opening. With luck the first will fly and the second get all the attention.

The new neighbors have reached a truce it appears. Once the eggs hatch that might end, but for now it’s just a little ‘yelling’ back and forth.

Tale Of Two Herons, Feeding Teenagers - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Feeding Teenagers – Click To Enlarge

 

Tale Of Two Herons: A Different View

This image was taken to give a different perspective on the nest and location. The usual shots are directly in front of the trees. This is from down the water and at a greater distance.

Tale Of Two Herons, A Different View - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, A Different View – Click To Enlarge

Above you see two items of note. The first is a nesting pair of Great Egrets closer than living in a city apartment. Egrets are the birds that had attacked the young when they were smaller. The birds still keep a close eye on them.

The second item is just how large the birds are compared to the nest. Another critical time has been reached for them. Close quarters means fighting between the chicks. One bad move and a fall is a very real possibility. I have seen close calls. A fall is fatal.

So far all is well though.

Tale Of Two Herons: Always Hungry

A recent visit to check on the young herons gave us a big surprise. Actually 2 big ones.

Tale Of Two Herons, Always Hungry - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Always Hungry – Click To Enlarge

At this point the egrets have no interest in arguing with them. They have a nest a few yards away, and stay there.

Tale Of Two Herons, Always Hungry - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Always Hungry – Click To Enlarge

The adults seem to have learned to stay near, and bring lots of food.

Tale Of Two Herons, Always Hungry - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Always Hungry – Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Always Hungry - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Always Hungry – Click To Enlarge

I feel bad for the adults when they arrive. The young birds just jump all over them demanding to be fed.

Tale Of Two Herons, Always Hungry - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Always Hungry – Click To Enlarge

Their wings have feathers now and the next step is testing lift off, and then the first flight. There is no room for error on that flight so I hope they practice.

Tale Of Two Herons: Awkward Phase

When out checking the status of these 2 chicks all seemed fine. Except for their appearance.

Tale Of Two Herons, Awkward Phase - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Awkward Phase – Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Awkward Phase - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Awkward Phase – Click To Enlarge

Wow…

Tale Of Two Herons, Awkward Phase - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Awkward Phase – Click To Enlarge

The size difference is clear. However, both are now up and moving. Not a great thing when hanging 40 feet over swamp water. They can protect themselves now though.

Tale Of Two Herons: A Greeting

As these two young birds have grown it’s become easier to spot them moving around. At this point the oldest bird can stand pretty tall. To date they have survived several attacks and probably just as dangerous, the famous southern thunder storms.

I was at the nest the other day just as one of the adults returned. To the chicks this meant…Food !!

Tale Of Two Herons, A Greeting - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, A Greeting – Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, A Greeting - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, A Greeting – Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, A Greeting - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, A Greeting – Click To Enlarge

The take out has been delivered.

Tale Of Two Herons: Adult Affection

Adult Great Blue Herons are almost the opposite of Great Egrets. Their interaction is one of bonding.

Tale Of Two Herons, Adult Affection - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Adult Affection – Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Adult Affection - Click To Enlarge
Tale Of Two Herons, Adult Affection – Click To Enlarge

Herons have a greeting all their own. They hug.  At first we watched and tried not to put our own human feelings to this ritual. They are wild animals. However the following series is a typical greeting when the 2 adults meet at the nest.

Click an image to view the gallery.

Usually one adult initiates resting their head on the other. At first I had thought it was the returning adult, next the adult who was guarding, now it appears to be either.

A male, female ? Good luck answering that one.