Friday was glorious (weatherwise), so obviously I had to hike down to the river and check out the Great Blue Heron rookery. It had been pretty quiet lately and I was hoping to see a little more activity. I was not disappointed! Herons were constantly flying over my head, crossing the side channel of the Willamette from Goat Island and landing high in the Douglas Fir trees on my side of the river.
(By the way, while I was watching the herons this Anna’s Hummingbird grabbed a meal from this Salmonberry shrub about 8 feet from me!)
Can you see the heron in this photo? It’s there! Hint- look above the top of the Indian Plum tree in the foreground.
It spent a few minutes up there.
It was actually back a little ways into the woods, pretty close to my backyard.
It gingerly walked around the high branches. Unlike when they are hunting on the beach, they are not very graceful when climbing around on trees.
Why is it up there? Just to get a good look around? No. As I’ve posted about before, the herons seem to like making their nests out of Douglas Fir branches. They snap them off with their beaks…
(while being closely monitored by this Steller’s Jay)
…and fly back to their nest to perform some maintenance.
Unfortunately the cottonwood trees that they nest in are starting to grow some leaves. Pretty soon the nests will be mostly hidden, although once the chicks hatch the noise will be hard to miss!