Sunday, March 31, 2013

The rookery

Just a dozen miles upriver from our place is a Great Blue Heron rookery. I've often seen herons there, but never really spent any time observing this concentrated nesting area until this year. I was at the rookery today, waiting for the sun to rise to watch the birds that have gathered there. It was well worth the wait.

It seems so odd that this scene takes place in Wyoming. The herons seem so exotic. These images are taken from a position almost level with the nests, high in the treetops. I was perched on the side of a steep hill nearby to watch.

This is the context of the rookery, with the Wind River Mountains in the background:

 There will soon be enough leaves on the trees that the nests will be protected from view, but at least I was lucky enough to arrive at the rookery in time to observe both courtship behavior and nesting. As more pairs settle onto their nests, the rookery will become quiet with much less display of wide wings and stick collecting.

It was a perfect way to spend a morning.


Holly Heyser said...

We have a GBH nesting area about five minutes from our house on a popular lake. You're not allowed to get on the island where they nest, but you can kayak under their trees, and if you do, there is a very high likelihood they will poop on you. And seriously, I've seen them wait until kayakers were right under them. Who says birds don't have a sense of humor.

Cat Urbigkit said...

Well I've never been pooped on by an owl, but I have been pooped on by other birds – and figured it was intentional at the time!

CyborgSuzy said...

Floated past one of these in a canoe once. Sounds like a swarm of pterodactyls.

Unknown said...

Stephen, I thought you were down in NM. What part of WY are you in these days? I'm over in Lander.

Steve Bodio said...

There are three, and sometimes four of us who write in this blog. I do the majority, followed closely by Cat Urbigkit in Wyoming and Reid Farmer in Denver. I'm still in New Mexico.