Green Herons Ready for Action!

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.

A heron from NS1, the first nest, is resting. Both birds from this nest appear healthy and capable (8/15/13).

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.

Three of the herons from NS2 explore the base of their nest tree. At this stage they are still very downy in appearance (8/10/13).
Five days later the birds look much more heron-like (8/15/13).
The birds expertly climb among the branches of the willow trees (8/15/13).
Testing their wings, the birds have been taking short flights to an adjacent willow tree (8/15/13).

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.

There’s still work to do but the tough part is nearly over for this adult Green Heron (/8/15/13).

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.

2 responses to Green Herons Ready for Action!

  1. Avatar
    Robin Sheedy says:

    Greg, I enjoyed meeting you today as I came out of the butterfly house, and again down the trail when you pointed out tree frogs and turtle
    nests. These are some great shots of the young green herons. I hope they come back again next year. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for the creatures around us!

    • Greg Dodge
      Greg Dodge says:

      Thank you. I hope the herons come back as well. And, it’s always a pleasure meeting people and sharing like interests.

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