Its December, early as I remember, for the mating game to start. By chance, I noticed a tree filled with Great Blue Herons sort of squawking at each other and prancing around. I went to last year's tree and there were 3 Great Blue Herons, standing at attention and waiting (I suppose for a partner). These observations triggered a new series about mating behavior of great blue herons. This starts a series about Great Blue Heron mating, nest building and raising kids.
Colony of Great Blue Herons
I call this kissing. They touch beaks and close them rapidly that makes a very loud snapping sound.
The pulmage is erectile. The male (right) is being poked by the female (below left)
Male from a nearby nest flies away
Flying into the forest
The male and female engage in what seems to be kissing
An intruder (left). The female rears back while the male (right) watches
The female lunges at the intruder, who displays all his makeup
Onlookers watch this back and forth
The female is back to kissing her boyfriend
There is a disturbance below and the male looks down
And flies away
I think this is the female returning
Always on the alert. Here a red shouldered hawk flies over the colony
In another tree, a heron seems to be the lookout
There is a changing of the guard - with the old guard departing (right) and the new guard arriving (left)
Returning with building material
Flying off "in search of ..."
An intruder approaches the couple - and so the story repeats