Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Baby Green Heron Gets Its Wings, But the Adventure Begins

                                                              Immature Green Heron

                                                    Older Immature Green Heron Sibling

                                                              Male Northern Cardinal


                                                       Youngest Immature Green Heron

                                                               Brave Youngster Flies Up

                                                          Youngest Flies to Tall Tree


                                                     One of a Pair of Mississippi Kites
                                                                Unnerves All of Us

                                                             Great Blue Heron is Tired
                                                        of Being Displaced on His Snag

                                                            Great Egret Claims the Snag

0655-0935/79-88 degrees F/full sun/20 mph wind gusts

All three immature Green Herons zeroed in on their snag at 0700 hrs.  They all have had no
difficulties getting this far, and today was the day that the baby would take bigger steps, but
it was not aware at the time.  An adult left the area and allowed the young ones to fend for
themselves today, but it would not be a normal day of learning how to be a big Green Heron.

This was the day that the baby would make some serious progress, as his elders were going to
teach him that he must give up the ghost and take charge of his endeavors.  Both older immatures
left that comfortable snag, and the second eldest was going to help his sibling.  The little one was
now alone, no longer in the comforting arms of an older bird or a parent.  The little one move
around and moved to higher branches, even calling for his family, who watched and waited.
Would the little one make a move?

An older sibling would fly down from time to time, in hopes that the little one would get the
message, but it was a hard sell.

A male Northern Cardinal posted himself next to me in a young tree, calling a warning.  This
bird was afraid if he was within my reach, et he wanted us all to know that we were in danger.

Then came a disheartening sound, the call of a hawk.  There was a second call, and as I turned
around, I saw them.  They cavorted in a bald cypress below the berm.  When the blackbirds were
not harassing them, they were looking in the direction of the little Green Herons.

I snapped off  several photos of both Mississippi Kites, one of which circled the area, a throng of
Red-winged Blackbirds and grackles in pursuit.  This pair was not leaving, and we all had to be
vigilant.  The cardinal left, as he did what he came to do:  the warning was given, it was up to us

The baby flew to a higher position in Great Blue Heron's snag.  He knew that things were not
copacetic on the Southern Cove.  The bird craned his neck to see where the strange and
threatening call came from.

The adult bird returned at the rear of the cove where the nest site was located, in case that the
family was required to mobilize.  I held fast to my camera and watched and waited with the
rest of the Green Herons.

Once again, the middle Green Heron returned, trying harder to spark the baby in getting his
nerve to move out of a potential harms way where it was out in the open.

To make a long story short, while the kites circled and got ever closer to the home base, the baby
sensed imminent danger.  The little one took a deep breath and flew like never before, into the waiting boughs of the bald cypress tree and stayed hidden.

Knowing that all was well in the Land of the Greenery, off I trudged, in pursuit of additional sights.
Great Blue Heron was impatiently waiting for his former post, which had been taken over by the rug
rats.  As I passed him near the Southern Cove, I photographed him and waved a greeting.

Upon my return, all birds in the cast were gone, and yet another dweller was on the snag, an area
Great Egret.  Again, he was photographed, and again I waved a greeting at him.

Such is the life of a bird and an ornithologist at Boomer Lake on the Southern Cove.  Long may
they fly.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Houston, We Have a Flight Pattern

                                                               Immature Green Heron

                                                                  Flight Comes Easier

                                                                 Looking Confident

                                                                      More Mature

                                                                    High in a Tree

                                                                  Gaining Wisdom

                                                   The Baby and the Middle Green Heron

                                                                  Natural Behavior

                                                                    Looking Good

                                                                  Irridescent in the Sun



                                                            This Could Be in a Jungle
                                                                  In Another Month

                                                          Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird

                                                             Male Northern Cardinal

                                                                 Great Blue Heron

0655-0925/79-89 degrees F/partly cloudy/17 mph wind gusts

The young Green Herons are progressing quite well.  I witnessed them fly to their positions
a couple of times, and an adult left the area.  They were no doubt being observed by their
kin.  They're looking more mature, gaining confidence, as well as weight and are looking
more like little adult figures.  Since these birds are going to be on their own soon, their
growth is by leaps and bounds.  They left the safety of the nest only eight days ago, and
already they are progressing like young Green Herons should.  I am proud, yet I know my
time with them is limited this year.

Migration will be the most difficult part of their lives, and it won't be easy living where they
will go next, which is determined by their genetic makeup.  Since there are only three of them,
and not the four that there were last year, they might well all come back to me next year.

Even though they aren't gone yet, they will be soon enough.  I know you wish them well as
much as I do, but they were a part of my life every day for the time that they came out of the

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Immature Green Herons Take Notice of the Lay of the Land

                                                              Male Painted Bunting

                                                             Juvenile Eastern Phoebe

                                                           Immature Green Herons

                                                            Immature Green Heron

                                                               Great Blue Heron
                                                             "Back in the Saddle"

                                                          Immature Green Heron

0700-0955/79-88 degrees/cloudy to partly cloudy/light and variable winds

In no uncertain terms, the young Green Herons were going further from the nesting area,
and the eldest was practicing fishing techniques, to some degree.  There is a possibility that
there could be two clutches instead of one.  It would be nice to turn this area into a colony,
which will take a few years, but I believe the site is a good one.  It will take years to establish
this as such, so we will wait to see how this plays out.

A male Painted Bunting has been out and about for a couple of days now, belting out his song
and bringing my attention right to him at the top of this tree.  He remained for a short time, then
went off to seek other venues.

Our Eastern Phoebes are still in residence, and there are six juvenile American Robins to two
parents, which is welcomed in the vicinity that they were in.  Also noticed was at least one
Western Kingbird.  A few young Northern Mockingbirds were raised here, and I have noticed a couple of Brown Thrashers over the past couple of days, too.  Riparian forest is healthy for a number of species, and this is as upcoming area for the city to cultivate.

072615 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Learning to Grow Up the Hard Way, with a Green Heron Family

                                                                   Red Eared Slider

                                                          Immature Green Heron(Eldest)

                                                 The Two Eldest Immature Green Herons

                                                         Eldest Immature Green Heron

                                                               Second Eldest Green Heron

                                                                      Mallard Hen

                                                           Immature Orchard Oriole

                                                                Red-winged Blackbird

                                                           Mallard x Domestic Duck

                                                        Juvenile Red-winged Blackbirds

Male Orchard Oriole

Third Immature Green Heron

                                                        Eldest Immature Green Heron




                                                              Eldest in Front/Second Eldest
                                                                   Green Heron in Rear


                                                          Eldest Immature Green Heron




                                                      Youngest Immature Green Heron

                                                          Eldest Immature Green Heron

                                                        A Parent Pounces on the Eldest
                                                             Immature Green Heron

                                                       The Chase with Parent in the Rear

                                                                  Adult Green Heron


                                                   Second Eldest Immature Green Heron



                                                          Eldest Immature Green Heron




0650-1015/78-89 degrees/partly cloudy/light and variable winds

Life is not easy for migratory birds, and learning the hard way begins shortly out of the safety
of the nest.  While looking at these photos with the eldest Green Heron youngster, it may
appear to you that the parent is attacking its offspring.  That is not the case.  The parent is
trying to teach the youngster to fly, as they will be migrating from the area in four or five
weeks.  The little ones need to grow, as well as get the wings into shape for what could be a
rather long flight.  As you can see in the final photo, the young bird flew back up from where it
had originally come.

You aren't able to see or know this, but this parent was observing the immature birds the entire
time that I was photographing them.  The looked up constantly to see the parent.  Finally, it had
seen enough play and lallygagging about, and had to get the little ones to understand that it is
time to fly in their instruction to growing up.

Scientists are finally discovering that animals are very similar beings to humanity.  They raise
their young with a loving, yet firm hand.  Stay tuned for more regarding the young Green Herons.