Saturday, March 5, 2016

First Nest of the Season

Yesterday we saw our first nesting birds of the season.  Jeanette spotted the nest as we were driving on Hawthorne Street. From the car it was hard to tell what kind of bird it was, perhaps a hawk of some kind.  I even entertained the idea of a Great Horned Owl.  After parking in the closest parking lot, which was Geer Community Park, we got out the binoculars, relocated the site, and relized it was a Great Blue Heron on the nest. I took a couple of photos that were not very good, but after looking at them at home on the computer closely I realized we had a pair of herons.  I went back this morning to get a better photo which is the one above.  Only one bird was there, perhaps a proud male, maybe the female was off fetching some breakfast.  This always brings up the question, "when will we see babies?" According to my research, incubation takes 28 days.  But there is a number before that we need, the time between conception and the laying of the eggs, which is called gestation.  This is were I get driven crazy.  Gestation is not mentioned in any of the bird books I have, and believe me I have a few.  But wouldn't you know it, that information is only a few key clicks away now-days on the Internet.  What I found is that the gestation period vaires depending on the size of the bird, big birds more days, little birds less days.  But an over all average is 30 days.  Based on the post coidal preening that was going on yesterday, I would guess we should be seeing heron chicks around the middle of May. You can bet we will be checking back.

1 comment:

  1. We will be waiting patiently for your new chick report!