Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More Herons at the Rookery

My picture of one tree at the Great Blue Heron Rookery (click on picture to enlarge)

About three weeks ago I wrote about the heron rookery located north of the city. When I first visited it, the nests were clearly visible but I saw only one heron at that time. Things have become very active since then. My husband and I went there about 10 days ago and I took the picture above which gives a general idea of the number of nests these birds make in each treetop. And what a racket they make!

One of Andre's first pictures of the rookery

My husband's co-worker, Andre, who let me use his ice fishing pictures earlier this year, asked me about the rookery. It is very close to their workplace and he went out there with his new camera. This was his first time taking bird pictures but he has been back three times now. I think he is seriously hooked! Each set of pictures is better than the last. His Flickr photo stream is here and he has kindly allowed me to use some of his shots in this post. He has other excellent shots that are worth viewing on his site.

A picture from Andre's latest outing

I could stand and watch these large, graceful birds for hours. They have a fair distance to fly to the river and there is constant travel back and forth for food. When we drove by a section of the river which was about 10 km away, we saw five herons fishing along the bank of the fast flowing water.

There is much to see in the spring and things are progressing so fast that it is hard to keep up with what is new from day to day. I will have to check by again and see how long the rookery is occupied and when the birds fledge from their aerial nests.


  1. I checked his Flickr pics. They're great. This is an amazing place.

  2. Those are great pictures. I've never seen a great blue heron in a tree or in flight, only along a river bank. They look so awkward in the tree, I can't imagine what it must have looked like live with so many of them perched there. Very interesting post.

  3. Those flimsy nests are amazing that they hold anything, let alone eggs and baby herons!

  4. I love herons. They are so photogenic. Thanks for sharing the great pictures.

  5. I still have not seen any herons for 2008. Maybe next weekend we could go to the rookery.

  6. Anonymous9:43 am GMT-4

    That photo of the heron is simply spectacular!

  7. We saw a heron fly overhead just the other day. They are not so common up in our neck of the woods but down at the coast, they are very common and there is a big rookery in the Sardis area. They are amazing birds to watch. So big to maneuver through those trees to nest.

  8. Something we have wondered about is the lack of birds along our walking path - ducks and seagulls only - unless we cause them to hide!

  9. Anonymous8:06 pm GMT-4

    Love these heron shots! They are so clumsy-looking when they come in for a landing.

  10. Ruth,

    The photos are fabulous. I love herons. We have one that enjoys breakfast in the canal not far from here. I haven't seen it yet this year and hope it returns. It's been living in the area for about 4 years now. At least I think it is the same one.

    Enjoyed my visit and am off to read about your frog chorus.


  11. Those pictures are great! I think it's so neat the way those huge birds are able to balance, maneuver, and build nests at the very top of those tree branches.
    Your next assignment, Ruth, will be to capture a little video of them so we can hear all the sounds. I always think of them as a very quiet bird and would like to hear what kind of vocalizing goes on in a rookery this large.

  12. Fantastic photos! It's true - there is something new happening every day now that Spring has Sprung. :)

  13. AC- I think everyone who has visited here has been very impressed, birder or not.

    Beth- They remind me of Dr. Seus type birds the way they are perched in the treetops so precariously.

    Jayne- I think some of the nests were not completed yet...they did not look egg ready yet.

    Jan- I have many pictures of herons as they are quite easy to photograph. They are very photogenic for sure.

    Birdman- Let me know when you are coming.

    S.Guy- Andre's pictures are excellent and I am happy he shared them.

    CS- So you have seen a rookery too? We have a couple more in the area but they are not as accessible as this one was.

    Jean- Some days that is all I see too. There are more ducks and geese than anything.

    Jennifer- They seem far to big to land in treetops.

    Mary- There are a lot of herons in the swamps and in the Grand River in our area. But I never tire of looking at them.

    Ruthie- I will see what I can do ;-)

    April- You are right. Every day is a new adventure in a new spring season.


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