Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Great Blue Heron Chicks: Begging and sibling rivalry

Great Blue Heron Chicks: Sounds of begging and rivalry

First the kids are playing and watching.  At 0:30 they start their begging sounds and soon after mom arrives.  Did they see her or did she hear them.  The begging started abruptly so I suspect they saw her coming.  They do their feeding thing (beak biting and pulling mom's head down) until 2:40.  At this time,  mom appears to have regurgitated a large piece of fish, hold it in her mouth and then deposits it on the floor of their nest.  She tires of all the noise, so she sneaks off to the right, and departs.  

In the background are two not so small chicks from the other nest - on top right and one behind the nest.  The upper chick took her first leap (that I've seen) from one limb to another.  Usually she hops from one limb to another using her wings to maintain balance.  I suspect this is the last step before full flight.

April 27, 2017
These not so small chicks (6 weeks old) appear to know when mom is coming -  Enough so that I can start a video before she arrives and capture the entire feeding episode.  At 2:40, she regurgitates something (probably fish) and holds it in her mouth before placing it on the floor of the nest.

April 28, 2017
This morning, the chicks reacted to mom's coming ( I could not see her approaching, though). Initially they were erect, and when they sensed mom approaching the assumed a crouching position, I assume so they could fight of whatever she regurgitates.

Some photos of the Great Blue Heron 6 week old chicks

Mom arrives with breakfast

Two chicks having a discussion

Green Heron Series - I've found a green heron nest under the great blue heron nest.  The male and female have built a nest and she has produced 1 egg.  Here are some photos of the mom, dad and nest

Mom on egg



Mom in assertive mode (feathers erect)

Watching Behavior of Herons, Egrets and Limpkins

More practice with photographing white and movement.

A juvenile little blue heron.  Often my photos were overexposed and I could not see the bluish regions as the juvenile matures.  By backing off "Highlight" in Lightroom, I am able to bring out the blue regions

White Egret - early morning light

White egret landing 

White Egret landing

Early morning light - two not so small great blue heron chicks in morning light


Mom great blue heron resting after feeding her noisy chicks

I like the early morning light against clouds and blue sky

Four great blue heron chicks

More practice to photograph dragonflies in flight


Feeding great blue heron chicks.  Mom arrives on the left. Chicks in the nest

Mom departs

Green heron, her nest and egg

Limpkin with a mussel for breakfast

Holding the extracted mussel in her beak - prior to swallowing

Long neck of the green heron


Little Blue Heron

Left over mussel shells from many limpkin meals