I’ve been off for several days but I felt compelled to come in briefly last Thursday (8/15) to see how the herons were doing. They’re doing fine and seem to be ready to go. The birds are still hanging around the nest tree but both groups of herons look able to fend for themselves, almost.
On to the second nest, the nest next to the Wetlands Overlook. On August 10, the birds appeared to have quite a way to go before they were able to leave the nest tree. By Thursday they looked as though they could take off at any moment. In fact, they were flying between their nest tree and an adjacent willow as I watched them.
What have the parents been doing? I saw one parent taking a well deserved break near the shore, preening and resting on a willow branch away from the nests.
Hopefully the birds will stay with us a while longer, honing their fishing skills before taking off for points south next month. That’s right, next month!
The Calendar may say summer, but we’ve turned that corner again, fall is upon us. Birds are migrating south already, mostly shorebirds and some early warblers, but the move is on. Our herons will be doing the same by the end of September, and perhaps into October.
Whatever these birds do from now until they depart will have a huge impact on them in the future. I hope their experiences are good ones and will help them make it through the first year of their lives intact. Let’s hope they learn their trade well so that they will return next year, maybe to raise families of their own here in our Wetlands.