About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Green Heron Nesting

It seems I have a pair of Green Herons nesting out back. 
This adult pic is from a few years ago.
From a distance, the Green Heron is a dark, stocky bird hunched on slender yellow legs at the water’s edge, often hidden behind a tangle of leaves. Seen up close, it is a striking bird with a velvet-green back, rich chestnut body, and a dark cap often raised into a short crest. These small herons crouch patiently to surprise fish with a snatch of their daggerlike bill. They sometimes lure in fish using small items such as twigs or insects as bait.

...about the size of a
USDA "Peewee" chicken egg.
Each breeding season, Green Herons pair up with one mate apiece, performing courtship displays that include stretching their necks, snapping their bills, flying with exaggerated flaps, and calling loudly. They often nest solitarily, although they may join colonies with other Green Herons or with other species. They defend breeding areas from each other and from birds like crows and grackles that prey on their nests. Other predators include snakes and raccoons. Both the male and female brood and feed the chicks, which may stay with their parents for more than a month after leaving the nest, as they learn to forage.

This is the nesting tree. 
The birds were a little bothered by the arrows at first
(especially at night when they were lit up),
but they've gotten used to it.
The male selects a secluded site within his territory, usually in a large fork of a tree or bush, with overhanging branches to conceal the nest. Green Herons use many plant species as nest sites pines, oaks, willows, box elder, cedar, honey locust, hickory, sassafrass, and mangroves. The nest is usually on or over the water, but may be up to a half-mile away. It may be anywhere from ground level to 30 feet off the ground (occasionally higher).
Source:  http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/green_heron/lifehistory

Thank you Lynn for sharing your wonderful photos and observations! If anyone would like to share a photograph of nature send it to bloubird@gmail.com and I'll put it on the Friday Photo posts.
Three fuzzy heads on the nest

Related Articles:

Great Blue Heron nesting http://goo.gl/JNZ8d6
Clever Green Heron Fishes http://goo.gl/R9C3Nb 

Great Blue Herons return to Michigan http://goo.gl/ed5vLa