What’s All The Excitement About?

July 30, 2013 | Greg Dodge

This heron seems excited about something!

Perhaps the reality has hit the heron that it has four nestlings to feed! That’s right, four nestlings!!

The bird above is just below the nest (NS2) in a willow just off the Main Wetlands Overlook. I too, was excited when it was pointed out to me this weekend that there were four nestlings in this nest.

Kevin, seen here photoing “duck.”

Kevin (photographer), who comes by the Museum on weekends to photograph some of our wildlife, noticed four downy heads bobbing around in the nest instead of what I thought were two downy heads. Sure enough, a look at the nest through the binoculars revealed four nestlings!

This nest is a bit more difficult to see than the nest that’s visible as you descend the boardwalk. And, the nestlings hatched several days later than the birds in NS1, and so are a bit smaller.

What does all of this mean? It means that if all goes well we will soon have 11 green herons bopping around the Wetlands, three nestlings from NS1, four from NS2, and the four adults.

If you look closely you can see four yellow bills projecting from the heads of four downy chicks (7/27/13).

What’s more exciting is the fact that these herons, when they fledge, will be a bit awkward, unsure of themselves, and not very wary of us humans which could make for some interesting photographic opportunities. The parents may take at least some of the youngsters off to other ponds and streams, but there should be a chance to get some great photos of the birds as they learn the ropes here in our Wetlands.

It’s time to get busy catching fish, or tadpoles, or frogs or….

The next few weeks should be fun!

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