We Have Great Blue Heron Babies!

 Male Great Blue Heron Listens to Chattering Chicks

As the Turtle Journal team approached the SouthCoast rookery this morning we heard the unmistakable nattering of newborn great blue heron chicks echoing from their treetop nest.  The male heron, evicted for the babies, stands on a branch under the nest, staring up at the noisy kids that chatter persistently, insistently and incessantly for attention.

Female Great Blue Heron Prepares to Feed Chicks

The male had just brought a freshly caught pond fish to the nest for momma to distribute.  The female great blue heron tiptoes around the chattering chicks, picks up the fish, and begins processing it for the babies.

Female Great Blue Heron Predigests Fish

She swallows the fish to predigest it for the babies.

Female Great Blue Heron Feeds New Chicks

Then, after a few minutes, she shares the regurgitated fish with her pleading chicks.

Female Great Blue Heron Rests on her Brood

Once the sated kids quiet down, the female great blue heron settles in the nest with her resting brood beneath her.

Male Great Blue Heron Flies Off to Fish for Mamma and Chicks

But there is no rest for the male great blue heron.  As momma feeds the babies, he glides down to the pond to hunt for more fish to satisfy the chicks when they begin to lobby for attention once again.


Male Great Blue Heron Hunting for Fish

The male great blue heron moves with delicate stealth as his eyes scan the murky shallows for movement.

Fish in Pond by Great Blue Heron Rookery

The pond surrounding the rookery is filled with fresh water fish of just the right size for great blue herons.

Male Great Blue Heron Stabs for Fish

The hunting heron spots his prey and stabs quickly at the water with open beak.

Male Great Blue Heron Catches Fish for Mom and Chicks

Success!  The great blue heron catches another fish for his hungry family.

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