More Heron Nest Building

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!

  1. What an amazing week you had Mike! GBH’s in Douglas firs? Are you kidding me! I’m still waiting for my first heron sighting of the spring. I’ve heard rumor of a rookery in the area but I havn’t seen it yet. The Stellars jay picture with the moss and ferns is awesome. Your trigger finger must be in top form to catch a Anna’s hummingbird like that too. You are certainly blessed with beautiful subjects and settings. It is a pleasure to walk with you!

  2. What terrific shots you have shared with us this week! Seeing the Heron rummaging around for nesting material is really a delight to me. I can hardly believe you spotted that tiny Hummingbird in the trees. the Stellar Jay photo is perfection, with that beautiful, woodsy background!

  3. Excellent series Mike particularly with all those branches and foliage getting in the way. They may look ungainly but for a large species they always manage to walk the high wire without falling .. lol.

  4. …cool, cool, cool! I always love looking up and seeing a Great Blue carrying a tangle of branches as he flies to the nest. We have a rookery about 3 miles from my house. I need to get over there and see what’s happening. Loved your post…

  5. Gorgeous. I was trying to remember why it is that we thought we had to come to Florida from Oregon. Let’s see gorgeous weather? blue skies? beautiful birds? We should have just stayed home! (I need to go back and find one of your rainy day posts to make me feel better ;>)

  6. Wow Great shots. We have lots of Herons up this way and they look so out of place in the big trees. Marches Point has a huge rookery but I cannot find it although I have great number of Herons flying out of the trees. So I am in the area.

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