Friday, June 5, 2009

Birds of a Feather

100 Blue Heron nests, some filled with 2 chicks and some filled with 3 chicks, lined a hidden swamp on a recent adventure to find this place. The nests were full with fast growing chicks. The nests with 3 chicks had only a few inches of room to stand. Every few minutes the stealth bomber sized mother herons would return quickly to their individual nests to feed their babies. The noise of 200+ chicks waiting to be fed was an unusual sound to my ears. The swamp echoed loudly with many sounds of different birds and frogs. A Piliated Woodpecker pecked away at a dead tree while I snapped photos of the chicks balancing precariously on the edges of their nests.
The beavers did a magnificent job flooding this area so that eventually Blue Herons would have a maternity area to raise their young, out of view of the public. Every heron within 20 miles nests at this rookery and travels that far to find food for their growing chicks. By the end of June these nests will be empty and the newly feathered chicks will take flight all around this swamp.

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