The great blue heron is the largest heron species in North America, standing about 4 feet tall. But even though they are large birds, they don’t weigh much (only 5 to 6 pounds), thanks to their light, hollow bones (a trait most birds have)
Great Blue Herons eat nearly anything within striking distance, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, insects, and other birds. They grab smaller prey in their strong mandibles or use their dagger-like bills to impale larger fish, often shaking them to break or relax the sharp spines before gulping them down.
I had the good fortune of witnessing the blue herons doing their ritual dance in consummation of their love. Before the nest, before the chicks, just the two of them. I felt astonishment to see that they built their nest in the exact spot of this dance.
I feel the connection between the two in this image. I’m struck by their beaks and the eye contact. It looks to me like they are about to kiss.
Day 2 – Home sweet home, the nest building begins
After the love fun, comes the work of nest building…
…one stick at a time.
Day 3 – Hand out the cigars, four baby hatchlings born. Interesting fact: it is usual to have 2-3 in a nest, four is very special.
New life! The pond is buzzing with excitement. From the squawking babes to the coo and sounds of delight from us spectators,
Rejoicing! If you look closely in the nest, you can see one of the hatchlings head peaking out.
Papa hunting to feed the family
Lunch time with a view. I like this photo because you get a understanding how high up the nest is. Takes allot of effort to feed 4 babes.
Coming in for a landing, time for lunch.
Adult Great Blue Herons can stand nearly four feet tall and with a six foot wingspan appear immense in the air. They are mostly a slate-gray, with chestnut and black accents, and very long legs and neck. Adults sport a shaggy ruff at the base of their necks. Young birds are less colorful and have streaked necks.
Waiting to be fed in quiet contemplation. Maybe I am the one who is quiet and contemplative. For more blog updates, please click the “Log In” link at the top right of the page and sign up for emails. Comments are more than welcome, please be kind.
In some cases, the aggression may be a way for the birds to tussle and hone their skills, such as when kittens or puppies in a litter tumble about and fight. Aggression can also result from competition for food.