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Date: 30 July 2023. I'm an Auntie (green heron nest)

janice142


It all started with me at my desk in air conditioned comfort fixing a boatload of Amazon links. I was sitting at the dinette when the neighbors upstairs came outside. They were looking down towards the mangroves. As I am backed up into the mangrove trees I came outside to see what what so interesting. Immediately I heard a bird crying. And yes, green herons in distress sound much like a crying infant.
 

From my favorite bird book, Birds of North America, green herons are at the bottom of the page.

 

The mournful cries lead me to discover the noisemaker, a small green heron. Above her was Isis the snowy egret. This is Isis:

The green heron was hunched down while looking upward toward the snowy egret.
 

Here is another picture of a green heron when it was hanging out on Algae.

 

The green heron was obviously in distress. When I spotted the aggressor, a snowy egret, I retrieved my syringe.


I wrote about the syringes in the
Toy Bails Dinghy vignette.
 

The syringe was just the thing to scare off the snowy egret I call Isis. Birds do not like to be soaked with a stream of water. As soon as Isis flew away I looked for the Green Heron. She had disappeared into the mangrove. I was unsuccessful in locating her.
 

Later in the afternoon I spotted a nest with three ↓ BLUE SPECKLED EGGS, approximately 1" (3cm) long.

 

A bit about green herons: These are skittish birds. They never come for a handout and prefer to hunt along the shoreline. Minnows are a favorite catch. When I walk out the dock the green heron will fly away when I get within 5' of it. They appear to be solitary birds. More specifically, I have yet to see two adults at the same time.
 

Here is a picture of a GREEN HERON hunting along the shoreline under the mangroves:

The green herons are smaller birds and blend in incredibly well with the world they inhabit. They are easy to miss on a casual glance.
 

Now that I knew where the nest was located I checked it each time I came off the boat.
 

Finally I saw the MOM ↓ on the her nest. She is to the right of the two branches that are almost vertical.

Her beak is black. The area around her eye is off-white.
 

Later that afternoon, the NEW ONES have arrived...

 

The nest is well placed. Even with concerted effort it took a LOT of time to locate the hidden nest. The nestlings are so small and blend in well with the branches. They are almost invisible.


The FLUFF BALLS are nearly invisible.

There is a SNOOK swimming under the mangrove tree.


Newly hatched, the three baby birds are TINY LITTLE THINGS.


Watching the young ones grow is a delight. By day three they resembled miniature pterodactyls. Gangly, yet adorable. I am a bit of a sap when it comes to babies.



The NESTLINGS camouflage is impressive. Finding them is only possible because I know where to look!


What surprises me most is the size of their beaks.


The CHICKS hung out in the nest for about one week.


The legs, wings and beaks on the CHICKS grow incredibly fast.


In these photos you may have noticed pods at the tips of the branches. In ideal circumstances those 8" (20cm) long seed pods will grow new mangrove trees. The yellow flowers remain after the pods fall into the water.



 

Mangroves are an incubator of life. If you ever have the privilege of visiting one please do take the time to examine it carefully. In the branches you should see several species of birds, or pelicans. The underwater area beneath the branches protect minnows and fingerlings as they mature into full grown fish. Recently there was a nice fat manatee eating mangrove leaves near my Seaweed.



That large blob just below the mangrove branches is the manatee.
 

It has been a real pleasure to watch the night heron nestlings as they began life less than ten feet from my home. I truly am entirely blessed to live this life. Thank you for joining me.
 

Are you seeing baby birds near your home?
And, what type of birds?
 

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2023

Categories:  Books, Wild Things,

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