Nesting Great Blue Herons


The Concho River flows through downtown San Angelo.  It attracts many species of water birds, and the stars of the show are the Great Blue Herons, (Ardea herodias).  The whole riverwalk area is a beautiful thing in itself.  A beautiful nine-hole golf course is one of the attractions.  In this area across the street from the course are three of the herons’ nests.  Two on the closest side of the river and one nest across the river.  An acquaintance of mine had informed me that the chicks had recently hatched and it may not be long before they fledge.

On Sunday morning, after breakfast, Ann and I decided we had better go down and check them out.  It didn’t take us long to locate the nests, as they were in the same location as last year.  I got my tripod out of the car and set it up on the curb, on the golf course side of the street.  It gave me a line of sight to all three nests.  I was using my Canon EOS 7D and 1.4 tele-converter, with 500mm f4 zoom lens.

"Hey, Ma, what's for breakfast?"

On one of the nest, I could only see two birds and they were facing away from me.  The other one on the near side of the river was filled with four young chicks and the mother who had just flown in to feed them.  I got one shot of them, then a couple of minutes later I captured an isolated shot of the mother, to make a portrait of sorts.  By the way, there are no discernable features between the male and the female Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue Heron - a portrait

Across the river, the nest visible in the foliage, the adult was preening and I was able to get a pretty neat shot of that as well.

Great Blue Heron - preening

I hope you enjoyed these latest images of the photogenic Great Blue Herons.  I intend to monitor the chicks’ progress until they fledge.

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34 thoughts on “Nesting Great Blue Herons

  1. You made the most of a good opportunity with these herons Bob. I especially like the last image because of the pose and nice setting. I have access to one heron rookery but it’s not nearly so attractive – nests on wooden platforms on top of artificial poles.

  2. We have these here, but I have only seen them on Ditto Island in the Tennessee river which is hundreds of feet away. This makes it very hard for me to do any nest spotting. So glad you have captured this wonderful scene! ~ Lynda

  3. The ultimate shot..love the Herons. I think I will grab a few minutes today and head for Golden Pond. I believe I know where the Blues nest there and will see what I can fine as the weather here is warm today and no rain in the forecast. Take care and once again, thank you so very much for sharing with all of us..It makes my day..

  4. In Washington state near Tacoma, there was a blue heron rookery high in the alders, away from prying eyes but close to the freeway. It’s amazing that some will nest within plain view of people, as they do in Florida’s Wakodahatchee Wetlands. You are fortunate to have such a diverse park close by for regular birding trips.

  5. Hi Bob! Yahoo! I have found some time to catch up with the huge number of your posts I have missed and what a start! These are stunningly amazing shots, and that is just the quality of the photography! The content is brilliant – my favourite type of bird but in such unusual circumstances! I’ve never seen a heron’s nest, never mind with young in it! The ‘portrait’ shot against the blue sky is ‘wow!’ and I just love the ‘preening’ shot! What an amazing post!

    Cheers

    John

  6. Very nice! What beautiful birds and it is a plus that it is easier to get to their nesting site! I look forward to more photos as the chicks grow. Thanks for sharing.

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