Thursday, June 30, 2016

Green Herons Preparing For Clutch 3 in New Tree with Nestbuilding and Babies On the Move

Monday, 06-27-16
77 degrees F/0937-1002 hrs./cloudy with drizzle/85% RH/light and variable winds

Looking out the window, I bided my time until enough light shown through the cloud cover to
give me just enough to get a few photos of my favorite family.  Having researched these birds for
three years now, it isn't a good idea to skip days, unless one just cant be there.  Behavior is like the
need for a clock to get to one's engagements:  it is a necessity of life.

Unfortunately, my session was terminated easy due to precipitation, but at least I am able to show
how the birds are growing and behaving.

They were on their own today, for whatever reason the adults deemed necessary.


Tuesday, 06-28-16

0650-0930 hrs./73-87 degrees F/partly cloudy/light and variable winds

For unknown reasons, the young birds were nearly as high as they could gain a tree, very
unusual for them.  Later, the youngest bird of the clutch was discovered in the second photo.

                                                                  Adult Green Heron

                                                                    Adult Green Heron

                                                                 Adult Green Heron

                                                                 Adult Green Heron
                                                              With Nesting Material


                                                        Juvenile Green Heron with Twig

06-30-16, Today

0653-0829 hrs./77-79 degrees/mostly cloudy/light and variable winds

Having been forced to be inside the entire day yesterday, I was aching to get to the lake to
observe the Green Heron family.

The youngsters were found readily available, along with three adults on full view.  A large
period of time was spent photographing mostly the youngsters, and then I observed a great deal
of movement with the adults, including the fact that one of the immatures is behaving like a
breeding adult, which would make sense with it being the end of June.  This bird has come into
adulthood and has a mate.

Two of the original adults that birthed both of our current clutches are now building a nest in a
third tree, still in the vicinity of the other two.  The second mated pair was watching, and it is possible that they could have been doing the same thing.  As it stands, watching four healthy and rambunctious juveniles as well as two nesting birds, I had no option to forgo quite as much attention on the other two birds.  This was my first time at trying to observe eight Green Herons at the same

Behavior for all birds was exceptional, in that the juveniles paid attention to every detail in their own little world, and were quite interested in what the adults were doing.  At one point, as seen here, two of the young birds made it to a log on the north side of the cove and watched the adults retrieve sticks for the new nest.  I could hear them snapping off the thin branches in the trees.

One of the young birds, in its attempt to emulate the adults, picked up a small branch.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fruits of Their Labors

                                                                  Green Heron Chick

                                                                  Green Heron Chicks

                                                                  Green Heron Chick

                                                                Eurasian Collared-Dove

                                                             Great Crested Flycatcher

                                                              Great Crested Flycatcher

                                                            Male American Goldfinch

                                                          Female American Goldfinch

Sunday, 06-26-16
0700-1009 hrs./78-86 degrees F/partly cloudy/10 mph SW winds

A couple of surprises on Sunday morning, but one of them I was hoping to be able to prove,
which was the nesting cavity of the Great Crested Flycatcher.  Both of them came out of the nest cavity and were later in possession of food, which tells me that we have young!  Perhaps I'll
soon have the good fortune to be able to see and/or capture them when they fledge.

The second surprise was a sighting on the American Goldfinch in breeding plumage, a big
difference from their drab green winter plumage.  Since niger/nyger/thistle is plentiful, it was
only a matter of time before these gorgeous finches made an appearance.  Hopefully, we'll see
more of them.

Our second clutch of Green Herons is doing well, as can be seen.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Day 5 For Green Heron Clutch #2: Life at The Southern Cove

                                                                 Green Heron Chick

                                                     Non-Breeding Adult Green Heron
                                                                 Green Heron Chick

                                                  Three Out of Four Green Heron Chicks

                                                                   Green Heron Chicks

                                                 Adult Green Heron in Breeding Plumage

                                                                 Green Heron Chicks


0650-0755 hrs./76-78 degrees F/sunny/12 mph S winds/71% RH

This is the fifth day that the oldest bird fledged, and all of them are very mobile and flighted,
even the youngest bird.  Even though the young one doesn't move about much, don't let it fool you.
It can move as rapidly as the rest of them, even having fledged two days prior.  It has also been spending a good amount of time feeding itself, besides learning its surroundings.

Again, these fledglings notice everything going on around them, especially the activity of the
surrounding birds.  This will make them astute regarding their own safety.  The youngest tends
to stay out of view a great deal, but that could have to do with the fact that its feathers are not protecting it from the sun yet due to its age.  The older ones don't seem to be having any difficulty
with the sun and heat.

Three adults have been observed, including a non-breeding bird.  Breeding birds have orange legs and are more brightly colored, so it is highly like that this could be one of the birds born last year
that is a helper to the parents.  The first clutch of birds last year wasn't born until July, which would make it a little young to be breeding.  The second clutch was born in August of last year, so it could
be a bird from either of those clutches.

An adult appears to have taken the elder fledgling prior to my arrival to school it in its development,