Friday, April 17, 2009

Great Blue Herons as Role Models

After about 30 days the chicks are getting fairly large. This particular nest has 4 chicks in it so things are also beginning to get a bit crowded. I drop by for a few minutes almost every day and I am amazed at what great parenting skills and what commitment to family is displayed by these guys. Every once in a while the male realizes that the female needs a few minutes to stretch, so he flies in and they trade places. She flies away, presumedly to stretch and spread her wings a bit and probably to decompress, and he takes her place watching over the chicks. At other times, he is hunting for food and when he catches it he dutifully brings home the "bacon" to Momma who stores it away until needed. Last week I saw one of the females reach down into the bottom of the nest and come up with a fish larger than her whole head. It seems she swallows it whole and you can see it working itself down her neck. Incredible!!!

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