Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Usually, the great blue herons don't come to the beaver ponds until after the red-winged blackbirds leave in August. The blackbirds mob herons; they hate herons. But they left this one alone on Monday morning. I think it is because the blackbirds don't have any nests yet. I have cross posted these photos on both blogs. These are my first great blue heron photographs and I'm pleased as punch! I took 109 photographs of him (it was 23°F or -5°C). I quietly took the screen out of the window, set up the tripod and shot until my battery, which was low, died. While I was doing this, the cats had fun jumping in and out of the window. I culled the 109 down to 18 showing different activities of the heron. Then Amy and I cut those down to these few.
The herons that come here nest on May Pond which is behind the ridge on the other side of the beaver ponds across the road. Their nests are usually in the top of a dead tree and are huge messy jobs.
I have read that herons will fish a pond clean and when there are no more fish to eat, will move on to another pond. I have a feeling that they might also eat baby red-winged blackbirds.
If you look very, very carefully in the photo above, at the bottom of the heron's head, at the top of his long neck, behind his jaw, he is swallowing a fish and you can see a bulge. I failed to get shots of the three fish it caught while I was photographing him.
Technorati Tags: Ardea herodias, Great blue heron, Agelaius phoeniceus, Red-winged blackbirds