Monday, July 31, 2017

073017 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Subadult Black-crowned Night Heron Is Greeted by a Green Heron Adult

                                                        Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 1

                                                      Black-crowned Night Heron (Left)
                                                            Adult Green Heron (Right)

                                                              Bleck-crowned Night-Heron

                                                                      Green Heron Adult

                                                         Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 1

                                                                Mallard Ducklings

                                                                 Green Heron Adult

                                                            Black-crowned Night Heron


                                                        Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 1

                                                 Juvenile yellow-shafted Northern Flickers
                                                                            at play

Week of 07-10-17 to Present

A subadult Black-crowned Night-Heron came to visit this week, which I assume was last year's
second summer bird.  I believe this bird had been born on Goose Island two years ago, as the Green Herons evicted an adult from trying to breed at that time.  The night-heron clan is sometimes known to eat the eggs of other herons, which causes them consternation, so they generally will not allow them any real estate in many heronries.

Sometimes the Black-crowned Night-Heron will nest in the same tree with ibises, and occasionally they will be accepted by other herons.  They also don't discriminate against the birds in other nests and have been known to brood nests not their own.  Young birds will disgorge their stomachs if disturbed, quite like vultures, who do so at any age.

After a couple of days, an adult Green Heron came face-to-face with this subadult night-heron.  They both appeared quite surprised at the encounter and managed to remain quite close for a good fifteen minutes before Green Heron left the area.  I did my best to record the event, since our colony usually drives them away.  Evidently, the adult Green Heron felt that the night-heron meant no harm.

It is possible that the night heron has left Heron Cove, as I have not seen it there for a couple of days.

It was a nice visit, while it lasted.  Prior to the bird making its appearance on Monday morning, it was under the main nest tree on the west bank of the cove.  Since night-herons don't care for bright sunlight, it never stayed long in the mornings.  They usually tend to do much better at pre-dawn or twilight, retiring in the shadows.

There are still plenty of young birds all over the lake, including these two young Northern Flickers, who displayed their yellow shafts the entire time that I was in their presence.  They did the jousting play ritual, which is quite common for the species.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Two Rare Green Heron Rituals Await You

                                                                  Subadult Green Heron

                                                        Green Heron Immature Clutch #1

                                                                Ditto, Both on 070217

                                                         Green Heron Meeting, 070317
                                                          Prelude to Egg-Laying Ritual

                                                              Green Heron in Nest 4

                                                              Egg Laying Ritual Begins

                                                                  Green Heron Preens
                                                           Prior to Pair Bonding Ritual

                                                                Green Heron at Nest 5

                                                        Green Heron Pair Bonding Ritual

                                                              "The Stick Seals the Deal!"
                                                                      Bonding Accepted

                                                                 Great Egret, 070818

Week of 070117 to present

There is a lot to cover this week and a lot of excitement.

First, I obtained an adequate enough photo to show the nest 4 bird.  Thanks are to the graces of the wind, and her position.  The female stays on the nest overnight, then both male and female trade off positions during the day.

I have seen it before, but we also were privy to the egg laying ritual.  When all the eggs are lain, the male will inform the colony.  He begins by taking a high perch so that all may see him.  He then makes himself look large and mighty and sways back and forth a couple of times.  He then goes to visit all the birds on their perches, including any juveniles.  This bird then went in search of food for the female.

Soon thereafter, a new set of birds became a couple, and she accepted this male.  One of the birds is a subadult, the female.

We were later gifted with a Green Heron in nest 5, changing position.  This is another time to thank the wind and our illustrious bird on it.

Therefore, we have two active nests, at least one with eggs.  By now, we could have chicks in nest 4, but I cannot see yet.

Hope you enjoy what nature has brought, and thanks for viewing!

Dr. Deb

070917 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Green Herons Shed Light On Another Clutch!

                                                      Clutch #2 Immature Green Heron

                                                              Clutch #1 Green Heron

                                                                Clutch #1 Green Heron


                                                   Clutch 1 Members with Diamond Backed
                                                         Watersnake and Red Eared Slider

                                                                    Adult Green Heron

                                                                  Clutch 2 Green Heron


                                                       Youngest Clutch #1 Member



                                                               Sub-Adult Green Heron

                                                                    Adult Green Heron

                                                       Immature Clutch #2 Green Heron

                                                                     Ditto, Pose #2

                                                                       Ditto, Pose #3



                                                              Clutch #3 Green Heron
                                                   20' From Where I Stand at Heron Cove

                                                                 Great Blue Heron

Photos From 06-24(Top) through 06-30-17

The young birds are growing quickly, which you can see if you look at the feathery white tufts
atop the Green Heron heads.  The older they get, the less tufts are seen.

My biggest surprise came yesterday, when I saw that immature Green Heron nearly right over my head.  What prompted me to look in that direction, is that the adults kept calling, and naturally I was curious regarding the reason.  The youngster didn't seem to mind getting photographed.

Sub-adults now seem to be arriving for experience with parenting.  These are last year's birds, who are just shy of a year old.  If the rest of the summer stays as good as it is now, with plenty of food, they might have a clutch.  There is a possibility that breeding season might even last a little longer.

Our infamous Great Blue Heron, who lives on the Cove out of breeding season, is getting impatient
for his domain.  He has been coming by each day to sit for as long as he can.