Beautiful blue lunchtime sky, but no beautiful blue herons!
This evening, I headed over to the heronry at 4:45, a little earlier than usual, but I hoped many of the herons would have returned for the evening already…and they had! The number of occupied nests has definitely increased since my trip last week, and the herons are talking a lot more than last time too. There are at least 13 more occupied nests. Unfortunately, I could only stay for about 30 minutes, which wasn’t enough time to watch all of them come home, but progress is definitely happening! On the 13th, the 7 nesting couples were centered in one large tree. Today, enough new birds had arrived that they had pushed out to two surrounding trees.
Eleven newly occupied nests are in the tree behind
the original tree, and another is in a tree to the right of it.
I just listened and watched, and that was very nice. If I can fit in the time, I’d love to spend a couple of hours just observing and writing about colony behavior. I could see several different types of courtship displays today:
One of three couples preening each other.
This couple kept walking around each other in the nest.
This heron was stroking his mate along
the neck and back with this head and bill.
I also witnessed one small property skirmish with some pretty cool threat displays, including a sharp bark followed by snapping the bill together several times:
several times. Even though I am quite far
from the rookery, the bark was loud.