Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Secret City Of Great Blue Herons

Portland is an ordinary small town in Connecticut best known for its Brownstone Quarries but tucked away within its meadows is a large Great Blue Heron rookery. You may not see the herons on the nest from this photo but they are there. I counted 120 adult herons on the nests this year and that's not including the dozens which were out gathering sticks for the nests, hunting for food, and flying over my head.
I used full digital 100x zoom for these photos so they are a bit distorted but it will give you an idea of how fascinating it can be to watch herons on their nests.The way they pose and posture themselves is like looking at a work of art. 
Pairing up side by side you can see how long their legs are. Males and females look alike although males tend to be a little larger. Great Blue Herons are usually monogamous for one season but often use a different nest and change their mate each season.
If you are patient enough to watch herons at a rookery for a while you'll be able to observe interesting behaviors, vocalizations, stick gathering for the nests, and even mating. I'll be looking forward to visiting again in May to see the baby herons in the nests.
 With Just a half mile walk down a trail and across a cornfield we are able to enter the secret city of Great Blue Herons. These giant birds have bodies 4 feet long with wing spans up to 6 feet in length. Seeing so many of them in action makes you feel like you've been transported back in time to the days of the dinosaur. It truly is birdwatching at its best!

12 comments:

Frank said...

Excellent post and pics Larry.

It always amazes me how they manage to stand on a bunch of sticks!

TexWisGirl said...

how awesome to see such a rookery!

Michelle said...

That is a pretty cool thing to see a rookery such as this!

Kathie Brown said...

What a sight! Herons are so amazing! Well written Larry!

Andy Wilson said...

What a sight!

Metis Birding said...

Amazing-- a whole city way up in the trees! I'd love to hear the sounds of such a large community. Did you notice any interesting courtship displays?

Stewart M said...

I used to watch a heron rookery as a kid - I have yet to find one close enough to home to become "mine" in Australia.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Linda said...

Just beautiful! I see herons here in Montreal, Canada, from time to time, but not often. Thank you so much for sharing.

Connie Smiley said...

What a treat! They do have such interesting poses--must be wonderful to watch.

troutbirder said...

What an amazing sight. Once many years ago I found something similar and never forgot it...

Ruth said...

We had one in our area but the property owner cut down all the trees because he was fed up with irresponsible people trespassing to see the herons. You got great photos. btw, I read your post from last August about the ship. It is closed to comments, but I just want to say how beautiful and moving it is.

Larry said...

Thanks to all for the comments-Ruth-glad you like that poem by the unknown author-I agree about the poem. it's A nice way of saying goodbye to those we have lost.