Sunday, June 25, 2017

Green Heron Age Progression, 061917

                                                             Eldest Member of Clutch 2

                                                         All Four Members of Clutch 2

                                                                         Clutch #1

Ditto, Pose 2

Female Red-winged Blackbird
on Bradford Pear

Clutch 1

Male Parent, Clutch 2 

                                                              One Member of Clutch #1
                                                                          With a Parent

                                                                           Clutch #1

                                                                            Clutch #1



                                                           Clutch 1 Members at Play

                                                                 Note Birth Hierarchy

                                                               Clutch 1 Member
                                                                at Clutch 2 Snag

                                                                            Clutch 1

                                                                         Clutch 1


0652-0845/66-74 F/clear/calm-ESE-2/80-74% RH/30.05-30.12 Hg and rising

This was a day of education, for the older birds (clutch 1) responded to the current nest tree to teach the nestlings how to branch (stay out of the nest and explore the tree).  That is a prelude to learning balance and how to navigate the tree.  As of today, there has been one bird in clutch 2 observed.  I have not seen the others, but an adults been observed on a third nest for a few days now.

It further appears that "pair 3" is courting, which happens just before copulation and nest building.

Bear with me for the catch up process, as I am viewing roughly 1,000 photos of my study subjects each week.  Over the past four years, I likely have between 10,000 to 15,000 Green Heron photos regarding parental duties, and they are all very different, as with humans.

062517 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

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


                                                          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.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Green Heron Two Clutch Day

                                                             Original Clutch #1
                                                                "Missing Link"

                                                              Three Members, Clutch #1

                                                                    "Circle Game"

                                                            Two Members of Clutch #1

                                                                 "Then There Was One"
                                                                           Clutch #1

                                                              Clutch #1, Fourth Born

                                                                 Adult Green Heron

                                                                 Fourth Born, Clutch #1

                                                               Adult Green Heron

                                                             Third Born, Clutch #1

                                                                Fourth Born, Clutch #1

                                                                  Adult Green Heron

                                                              Four Nestlings, Clutch #2

                                                               Third Born, Clutch #1

                                                                Adult Green Heron

                                                                     Ditto, Same Bird

                                                                      "Tag, You're It"
                                                              Adult Pursued By Fourth Born

                                                                 Fourth Born, Clutch #1

                                                                  Clutch #1, Intent on Parent

                                                              Awaiting Rest of Family

                                                             Nestlings Awaiting Breakfast

Saturday, 06-17-17

0715-0900/81-85 F/mostly cloudy/S-12/73-69% RH/29.70-29.73 Hg and steady

Remember that missing clutch of birds that I assumed that I had lost, because they vanished into thin air?  They're B-a-c-k.  Clutch #1 apparently switched trees, just like they did last year, when a second
set of eggs was laid.  Last year, the parents simply led the young ones over the branches to the next
tree with the snag on the right.  I just missed seeing it this time.

Our missing birds had been in the lower nest.  The second nest was built above that one, where the current nestlings are located.  This is the first nest that has been within view since the Green Herons
have been using Heron Cove.  All of the other ones have been much higher and out of view, though they have all been over the water.

These photos are all from today.  I will try to get the remainder posted, which will be from the beginning of the week, when the nestlings are even younger.