Beyond the BackyardViera Wetlands

How Quickly They Grow Up!

I visited Viera Wetlands yesterday morning in hopes of photographing the Anhinga babies from the nest that I observed back in March.  I caught the adults building the nest and copulating, and I was excited to pair those photos with a few baby portraits.  The nest was awesome, too – close to the berm, and the distant wetlands provided a nice blurred background.  Alas, I arrived and found the nest gone…it was an empty stump. Sad smile  I photographed the nest on March 5, and incubation takes about 28 days for Anhingas, followed by a period of about 7 weeks before the babies fledge.  So that tells me something bad happened.  It’s the circle of life…but it doesn’t always have a happy ending.

So instead I photographed the Great Blue Heron fledglings, who are still loafing around in their treetop nests.  They are big enough to try to fly, but young enough still to start that incessant little “feed me! feed me!” cry whenever an adult heron flies by.  I guess it’s their teenage period, and they are not particularly graceful…

I love the color of the Great Blue Heron juvenile wings.  This juvie started to stretch his wings, then actually propelled himself into the air, where he hovered for a few seconds, then returned to the nest.  His nest-mate just sat there.  I wonder how many siblings end up landing on top of each other while they are first learning to fly?