The last time I went to Lake Morton in mid-April, I found a pair of Great Blue Herons building a nest at the top of a cypress tree. Given that most herons start constructing their nests in early winter, I figured these guys had lost their baby and were attempting a re-nest. Or perhaps they were juveniles and this was their first time around. One bird appeared to already be incubating and the other went back and forth with nesting material.
Great Blue Herons are fun to watch when they are building nests. The male will fly off, spend a long time finding the perfect branch, and then bring it back to the nest.
It was a cloudy morning. The sun kept disappearing behind the clouds. There was a small window between the trees and the challenge was to focus while the bird was in it.
After a while, the male was chased out of the prime stick tree by a fussy crow. The crow started attacking him and the heron took off in great indignation. After that, he foraged in the cypress tree immediately next to the nest. It was so close that he didn’t really have to fly – he did more of a hop from treetop to treetop. Some of the poses ended up being pretty funny!
There was one final image that I should have captured to finish telling the story of this heron nest. When I first got there, the street under the trees was clear. When I left, the street was cluttered with the branches that the bird had dropped in his endeavors!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Morton?
Check out my Lake Morton page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!