Monday, March 26, 2012

Hanky Panky at the Heronry

We kayaked out to view a colony of breeding great blue herons on Thursday, making an effort to keep a low and unobtrusive profile. The courtship displays included much bill-clacking and posturing. Check out the sequence of events as a male flies, descends and then prepares to mate with Mrs. Heron, both exhibiting their fluffed-out neck feathers. The final shot shows the couple afterwards, at rest and possibly considering chick names.


  1. Beautiful pictures, I've been hoping to come across one of these myself.

    I do have a question though, is a heronry the same as a rookery?

    1. It's my understanding that the term "rookery" is a bit more generic, referring to any breeding colony of gregarious (i.e., social) birds (like rooks), but also to seals or turtles. The word "heronry" is specific only to a breeding colony of herons.

  2. For more on nesting Great Blue Herons here in New England, check out Mary Holland's latest blog entry. (It's under "Naturally Curious" in the Wildlife Tracking Links section on this site.

  3. Yes, I checked out her blog, loved it, and added it to our links within the day. She's interesting, concise, and a great photographer. Thanks again for the heads-up, Joyce.