Monday, March 22, 2010

Great Blue Heron update

Last Thursday, a Great Blue Heron appeared on last year's nest right outside our windows at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I was thrilled! This weekend I was busy, but read reports from people visiting the Lab or working there that at least one and maybe two other herons were about and there was quite a bit of squabbling. Today, a second heron kept landing on the tree and one that was sitting on or next to the nest kept chasing it off. By mid-morning, there were two on the nest.

These birds aren't banded or color marked in any way. We can't tell male from female most of the time, and have absolutely no way of verifying whether either or both birds are the same as the pair that built the nest and successfully fledged all four chicks last year. But hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.

Last year I took photos most days during the breeding season, and went to the Lab before dark each night through the summer to see the end-of-the-day activity. This is something I will miss mightily this year, when I head back to Minnesota. But I'm glad they're getting an earlier start so I can maybe get good photos of some of the starting activities again.