LATEST COLONY PHOTOS & NEWS
Week of June 6, 2020 – Lots of action at the Commodore Park colony. Last Sunday, we were notified by Joshua Lee that a bald eagle landed in the colony and took two chicks from one nest. On Tuesday, we were notified by Chuck Rinehart that a chick had fallen and was uninjured. HHH board member Linda Marsh was able to capture the chick and bring it to PAWS where we hope it can be rehabilitated and released once it can fly on its own. In Linda’s words: “It’s young, legs still a little puffy and not many feathers, standing with its head tucked in under a bush near the west picnic table, and was soaked through. I just dropped a towel over it, picked it up, and put it in a box. No apparent injuries, and it flapped, screamed, and tried to bite me, so I’d guess good prospects”. And Thursday, we were sadly notified by Celeste Botha that there was a dead chick on the ground. Thank you citizen scientists! Your observations really do help us monitor the colony. These situations are all part of life and the colony overall is doing extremely well this season boasting 58 active nests.
Photo Kathleen Atkins
As of March 25, 2020 – the Commodore Park Great Blue Heron Colony is currently thriving as approximately 80 herons court, mate, build, and rebuild in 50 + nests. There is a lot of courting by cooing, stretching their necks, showing off their plumage, and bill dueling – a courtship ritual. Some herons have taken over last years nests and are refurbishing, while others are starting from scratch. We have been fortunate to witness, in amazement, the challenge of balancing the first twig in the fork of a tree with just a beak. If you observe herons lying down in the nest, that means they’re incubating eggs. Both male and female herons will incubate eggs, taking turns so they can go out a feed. Chicks will begin hatching mid-to-late April.
As the season progresses we’ll be updating here as well as at https://www.facebook.com/HeronHabitatHelpers.
Here are a few images by Beth Shepherd Photography that capture the courting phase.
Thank you to the photographers that have been sharing their photos with us! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with photos.