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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Heron lost

You know I like herons. We have a rookery near us where the birds begin congregating and building in late winter, February/March. 


We can see them flying, in search of food, when all the chicks are demanding fish. They are a long bird in the sky, feet extended under tail and neck generally in an S shape.


I've read and read about them, and find little more than I already know. They mate for a season. Both parents tend the nest and go in search of food. They live to be about fifteen years old. 

Here's how to tell the difference between male and female:
          The male is taller.
          The male is bigger.
          The third spring, when the heron is mature enough to breed, its legs turn bright orange and the skin around the beak turns a bright blue color. 
          Males' legs are typically slightly darker than females, though from a distance, this distinction may not be visible.

Getting someplace now, aren't we!

We've had a heron at the golf course lake featured in my header since 2014. Four years now. "A heron," as in one. 


A lucky shot in 2014. The most shy heron in the universe. Just stopping the car sent it walking rapidly to the other side of the lake.


This is one of my favorite pictures of the heron. I posted it on the township web site in 2014, titled "Heron gone."

This is the bird's fourth year at the lake. It is alone; there is no other heron. This lake is not where herons nest, although there are sycamores at the back edge.  The heron is now accustomed to golfers and gawkers, not moving from wherever it is seen.


Here it is yesterday, wading and feeding at the edge. I cannot fathom its sex, or it's intentions. How did it wind up here? All the rookeries begin at the next bend in the river, not a mile away. What brings this one to live at a golf course? 

25 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    it found fish... in a place other herons would not contemplate. Think of it as a pioneer, an early prospector... and herons anyway tend to be solitary in their hunting, no matter the family situation! I am glad it is still there with you though... when I read that title I caught my breath!!! YAM xx

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  2. Beautiful photos, capturing the Heron. Thanks for sharing, and greetings!

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  3. He likes the fishing there. We have them out in the lagoon from time to time fishing. Have also had a nesting pair on the island there. Sometimes they come up in the yard to be fed and the male hoovers proactively while the female eats.

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  4. A friend who lives at the head of one of the bays nearby has up to twelve herons feeding there on occasion. They are gorgeous creatures. This one is a loner. I guess every species has them.

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  5. An introverted heron with some Scottish (golfing) genes?
    These are wonderful photos! Wow!

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  6. Everything I know about herons I just learned from your post here ... so I am no help with your question. They are big birds, aren't they? Maybe all species have those who are loners, either by nature or by chance ...

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  7. maybe it doesn't like competition. old enough to breed now though so you'd think it would be feeling a little more sociable.

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  8. We have herons on our beck as it winds through our fields. Here we would call a colony of herons a heronry.

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  9. Heron's are very solitary and we have them here, always standing alone.

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    Replies
    1. http://flyinghighsolo.com/2013/02/why-is-this-bird-hanging-out-alone/
      Thanks, Rachel. I really sent google out looking this time, and almost gave up. All the articles were all the obvious, till I found this one. What common sense!

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  10. I love the picture with the heron's reflection in the water. Very nice!! I learned things today I didn't know about herons. Everything!!

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  11. doesn't have a mate; I was almost afraid to read thinking the worst of lost - thank goodness all is well. When we lived in California the heron parents would come to our property in the winter and actually spear gophers, amazing to see. they are regal birds. Not sure if I ever linked you up to my post about that if not let me know, I got photos through the screen porch.

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  12. They are very interesting birds indeed.

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  13. Fantastic pictures. I especially like the one in the tree. I have no guess as to why it is alone.

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  14. I have one I watch at the lake. They move so slow only to dive in like a flash. I've watched them lay their fish on the land and go back for it.

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  15. My daughter had a pond/waterfall in her yard that they built themselves. They put in some beautiful fish. Then the heron came and ate them all - year after year. Finally, they gave up. Golf courses have ponds and I would imagine that is why the heron is around.

    I used to fly fish for about ten years (during my mid-life crisis). The best part was seeing the wildlife down at the stream which always included some lovely heron looking for dinner.

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    1. The Cuyahoga River is across the road, maybe 200 feet away. It's where the rookery birds fish. I think I know enough now to stop considering the life of this bird. I can speak with authority on its habits.

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  16. We call them Great Blue Herons here. I've seen solitary ones fishing in rivers around here. They are spectacular to see in the air, aren't they? Maybe this guy (is it a guy?) just spends lots of time away from his mate. -Jenn

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  17. Do you think it lives there or just spends the day there? Reason I asked is we had herons when we lived in the San Diego area. They lived in trees by the ocean but occasionally we would see one in a field miles away from the ocean. Maybe its learning golf tips?? They are fun birds to watch. I didn't know they mated for one season. I do know their babies can be very vocal when waiting for food. I miss them and my quail.

    betty

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  18. I now know far more about herons than I ever did, but don't know why one would be alone for so long and far away from a nesting area. Perhaps it has been shunned and cast out for some reason. I do hope it finds a mate.

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  19. We have a lonesome Heron too ! Beautiful creatures.

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  20. I love that picture of it walking.

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  21. Oh yes! I love herons too. They are such graceful, beautiful birds. You really got some gorgeous photos of those amazing birds.

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