Date: 3 August 2023. Leaving the
Nest (green herons grow up)
One of the best parts of living on the water is having a front row
seat to the natural world surrounding my Seaweed. Watching the green
heron protect her nest has been fascinating. I had never heard the
mournful cry of a green heron until Isis seemed to be too interested
in those eggs in one small nest. I was
able to encourage Isis the snowy egret to leave by shooting water at
her with a giant syringe. I wrote about that in the
I'm an Auntie (green heron nest)
article. The cry of the green heron was silenced until one night at
Here is a picture of the MOM ↓ sitting on the nest before her three
During that first week it was
relatively easy to take pictures of the ↓
CHICKS due to them staying
in the nest.
CHICKS ↑ did stay hidden. The beak
is small, thus this picture ↑
shows Day One of life in mangroves.
Each day I verified that all
three hatchlings were present. Though my picture taking skills
could use improvement, the chicks all remained for the first week. One
always tucked itself to the far left side of the nest.
The kids are on the nest waiting for mom. Only
the beak of the third nestling shows in this picture.
Then, late at night while working on the fiasco described in the
Fixing Amazon Links
article, I once again heard the mournful cry of the mom bird. I
immediately left my desk/dinette to see if I could locate the source
of her distress.
boat lift railing I spotted Ella the Great Blue Heron. Ella
staring down into the mangrove where the mom green heron was
|The boat lift
is right next to the mangrove trees:
Here is a picture
a great blue heron in the mangrove.
When I heard
the cry of our mom green heron I knew exactly what to do. I retrieved
my giant water syringe. The squirt gizmo is tucked up above the life
jackets in my cockpit.
↓ is stowed in the
overhead of my cockpit.
I immediately shot water toward the great blue. Ella flew off to the
west. When I saw her sitting at the top of the mangrove I again
squirted water. Ella disappeared. The green heron quieted so I went inside.
Five minutes later I again heard the green heron
mom's mournful cry. Though I could not see the great blue heron, I
sprayed water over the top of the mangroves in wide arches. The mom
again was quiet. Since that terrible night I have only seen two
nestlings. Nature is not always fluffy bunnies and sweet baby green
herons growing to adulthood.
A green heron glares in
this picture taken previously.
The "stay in the nest all the time" phase lasted about one week.
Watching the young ones
grow has been a pleasure.
(click on pictures for full
By the beginning of week two the chicks were leaving the nest. They
hopped around on the branches of the trees. Though appearing
ungainly, I never saw them slip nor stumble. Taking a picture of the
duo in the mangroves proved impossible. Finally they discovered the dock.
One chick is directly behind the other. You can see
the long neck as he observes me.
initial pterodactyl stage of life the nestlings began to explore outside of the nest. They were all legs and
appeared quite ungainly.
The two kids
spent a lot of time hanging out on the dock. They did duck into the
mangrove trees regularly too.
They grow so quickly...
(all photos on my site can be clicked to enlarge)
The chicks are
looking up for a reason. They want mom.
There is a
NIGHT HERON ↓ on the second story railing watching the world.
The night herons do not bother the ↓ GREEN
↑ is visible on the dock. The other had just
ducked into the mangroves.
The mom does ignore her kids.
The TAIL END OF THE MOM
↑ is just to the left of my
(far right side of picture) looking away from her
↑ YOUNG ONE.
stood there just out of reach of the hungry chicks.
Finally however she would fly down and the kids would eat.
It has been
amazing to me how rapidly these chicks have gone from
fluff balls to flying. By the start of week three they were flying
Watching the young ones has been such
a pleasure. As I returned yesterday to Seaweed one of the kids was
on my bow rail. She flew across the canal and landed near her nest
mate. I was quite proud that. They have quite literally spread their
wings. Soon the duo will be gone forever, establishing their own
domain somewhere along the shoreline.
Life is so good on the waterfront.
Thank you for reading.
Are all green herons so timid/skittish?
And, do you feed any wild birds near your home?
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Category: Wild Things,
I'm an Auntie (green heron nest) ~
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