Saturday, June 24, 2017

Green Herons and Other Area Residents Save the Day


                                                        Green Heron Immatures, Clutch #1


                                                                  Green Heron Adult


                                                      Green Heron Immature, Clutch #1


                                                                     Great Blue Heron


                                                        Green Heron Immature, Clutch #1


                                                             Two Members of Clutch #1


                                                            Mallard with Two Ducklings


Green Heron "Nestling", Clutch #2


                                                                          Clutch #1


Clutch #2


Green Heron


Adult Green Heron, Preening


                                                              Adult Green Heron With One
                                                                     Member of Clutch #2


                                                             Green Heron Parent with
                                                                   Two of Clutch #2


                                                                             Ditto


                                                          Two Green Herons, Clutch #2


                                                         Single Green Heron, Clutch #2


                                                            Clutch #2 Green Heron at Nest


                                                              Clutch #2 Immature Bird


                                                                Green Heron Adult


                                                          Green Heron Adult with
                                                                 Nestling (Rear)


Friday, 06-23-17

0655-0725/78-87 F/clear/WSW-2 to NW-9/78-65% RH/29.80-29.85 Hg and rising

Yesterday was a banner day.  Having nestlings and young birds come out into the open for the first time is truly some of the most remarkable things, but this proved to be an action day in more ways than one.

For starters the barometer was rising, which is always a good sign for activity, especially if we get a
medium wind (10-15 mph to push birds along during migratory events).  Even though that wasn't the case, there had been a lot of activity in and around Heron Cove with our two clutches of young Green Herons.

Even though two branching birds appear to be missing, they could be in another part of the tree or someplace else, but I'm not worried about them yet.  They happen to be the younger of the two, so they could require more parental attention.  Even though both parents come to the tree, I have noticed one going in from the rear, which leads me to believe they might possibly not want direct sun, or at least I hope that is the case.  Breeding birds are also good for throwing a smoke screen toward potential predators by not approaching a nest tree from the same direction.

Anyway, all was well and good, everyone was happy, and going about their business on a typical Heron Friday.  This was until my attention was piqued by a general din, which was only seconds before I observed a Cooper's Hawk fly into Heron Cove, hotly pursued by Great-tailed Grackles, Common Grackles, three adult Green Herons and Red-winged Blackbirds.  It was literally a horde from hell.   I know the bird was a Cooper's, as it was screaming in fear, when trying to locate a safe place.   It actually came out for a moment to perch on a branch before it returned to the protection of the willows, too.  Sadly, I was not quick enough to get a photo, as I was busy watching the events as they played out.  It caused quite a stir, but not enough to alarm the Great Blue Heron that was directly across from me watching everything.

All six youngsters high-tailed it out of there, rapidly fleeing into the confines of their respective protective areas.  The three adults were strategically placed in assorted areas to protect their young if it was necessary.  I must say that all area birds did an exemplary job of removing the intruder as rapidly as they did.  Nature is truly grand, and when it is a high stress situation, all avian members band together and do what they must in order to restore order in a short amount of time for the safety of all concerned.  Too bad humanity is unable to do the same.  I would imagine that this is for the same reasons that we blindly watch our planet become of victim of non-action, save for a few of those that don't sit idly by.  Imagine that.

There is more to come bewteen this posting and the last photographic event.  Do bear with me.