Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Crowding the nest!!

Spent a couple of hours with the herons today. I reported earlier that there were quite a few nests with 4 chicks in them. I know at least one of the families of 4 lost the runt somehow but I don't believe any of the others have had similar tragedies.
I am amazed though at the patience shown by the "teenagers". Here is a shot of 2 nests, each with 4 "teenagers" in them. These guys are getting big and when the adults arrive there is precious little space in the nest to move around and there is a lot of jockeying for food. You would think that one would lose their balance and be forced to try flying earlier than desired. Just imagine having four growing chicks in one nest...they must get very fed up with one another...just standing there every day growing and waiting to leave the nest. Incredible!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Little Herons becoming adults

I spent the week in the Outer Banks on a workshop with Moose Peterson, Laurie Excel, Joe McNally and others. Even Scott Kelby showed up for the shoot. I was a bit disappointed in the workshop as a Landscape workshop since none of the instruction was landscape oriented. The instruction was entirely focused on post-capture finishing of the image with Photoshop. I did learn a lot about Nikon Flash from the Joe McNally mini-workshops but, again, this was unexpected since I had attended thinking the focus would be on Landscape Photography. But, come to think of it...why would one attend a landscape workshop conducted by a wildlife photographer!!
Anyway, I wasted no time visiting by Heron Rookery as soon as I returned home to check on my pets!! The nests of the oldest fledglings were still the most active and the chicks have not yet fledged. But, the nest is getting to be very crowded with 3 fledglings and the adults coming back and forth to feed. As I reported before, the youngest of the clutch has long ago disappeared, not able to compete successfully for food. Of the 3 left, there is definitely still one that is smaller than the other two and doesn't seem to be very good at getting his share of food from the mother.
There is absolute pandemonium when the adult arrives and the fledglings battle and jockey for position to feed. The adult regurgitates food and so you see the fledglings all grabbing at the adult's beak for food.