July 2008

Photographer: Brian Back

Great blue heron

This great blue heron stands guard over a 15-metre-high nest holding two chicks while its mate is hunting.

The three-tree herony, near Chiniguchi Lake, contains about a dozen stick nests, which appeared to have two nestlings in each on July 1. This nest was one of the largest, therefore one of the oldest. Herons normally return to the same nest each year and make any repairs necessary.

During photography there was constant coming and going of parents feeding voracious young. The incubation is 28 days and the chicks take another 60 before their first flight. The young looked to be nearing adult size, though none were seen flying.


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