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Home Heronry Heron Project 2013: Take Two
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Heron Project 2013: Take Two

Published on March 7, 2013 by

Numbers have fluctuated from 14-24.  Herons seem to be keeping to the trees, at least during the afternoon hour.  They have expanded from the right side of the island to the left side as well.  There has been some evidence of courtship, which you will see below.  Clicking of bills, rubbing of necks… typical mating behaviors… just ask my wife.

Just a little necking!  They've got a thing that's called... heron love. (Que the strong bass line.)

Just a little necking! They’ve got a thing that’s called… heron love. (Que the strong bass line.)

Also present within the last week were a few osprey!  A sign of spring, even when it snows one day!  Osprey typically only eat fish, however I caught this guy bugging the herons (they didn’t seem to care) and also going after a group of seagulls!  Interesting behavior, and made for some Discovery Channel moments.

Exhibit A:  An osprey.  One of two seen today.  Tiny when compared to the other one.

Exhibit A: An osprey. One of two seen today. Tiny when compared to the other one.

Exhibit B:  Osprey with talons extended bugging the herons.  Herons do not seem to care.

Exhibit B: Osprey with talons extended bugging the herons. Herons do not seem to care.

Exhibit C:  Unable to get a rise from a heron, the osprey looks for more prey.

Exhibit C: Unable to get a rise from a heron, the osprey looks for more prey.

Exhibit 4:  A Flock of Seagulls.  There has been a huge number of gulls hanging out on the river over the winter.  They have not seen the osprey yet.

Exhibit 4: A Flock of Seagulls. There has been a huge number of gulls hanging out on the river over the winter. They have not seen the osprey yet.

Exhibit E:  Now they have!

Exhibit E: Now they have!

 

Exhibit F:  That's like... a lot of seagulls, dude!

Exhibit F: That’s like… a lot of seagulls, dude!

Meanwhile, there is still a proliferation of Canada Geese.  Hanging out, eating whatever they can find.  Dropping phosphorous and nitrogen right into the river...

Meanwhile, there is still a proliferation of Canada Geese. Hanging out, eating whatever they can find. Dropping phosphorous and nitrogen right into the river…

They poop, like... a lot.

They poop, like… a lot.

They do enjoy swimming in the James, though.

They do enjoy swimming in the James, though.

Or just hanging out.  Whatever.  Canada Goose, on the rocks barkeep!

Or just hanging out. Whatever. Canada Goose, on the rocks barkeep!

I also happened upon a couple mallards sleeping adorably.  Did you know that ducks can sleep with one eye open, resting only half of their brain at a time?  Seriously, check out this RadioLab episode if you haven’t already.

The females are the not colorful ones, but the spotting on this one was pretty gorgeous.

The females are the not colorful ones, but the spotting on this one was pretty gorgeous.

 

The males have the characteristic green head.  Pretty soon now these two will be doing more than sleeping.  Yay, spring!

The males have the characteristic green head. Pretty soon now these two will be doing more than sleeping. Yay, spring!

More to follow in the coming weeks as the heronry prepares for spring!  Don’t forget to set your watch ahead an hour this weekend!  Unless you’re a heron… they don’t have watches… or wrists for that matter.

 

 

 

 

 
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