Tuesday, July 11, 2017

FIRST EVER REPORT OF BREEDING GREEN HERONS IN SAM SMITH PARK (BRUCE WILKINSON)



A pair of Green Herons tried to nest at Sam Smith Park this spring/summer but it came to a sudden end on 8 July. The pair bonded in late May and early June and built a nest on June 12-13.  One Heron sat on the nest at all times from 13 June to 7 July, only occasionally getting up to walk on a nearby branch.  I watched the nest with the adult inside, three different times every day for 20 minutes at a time ( 1 hour daily).  On the 22nd and 30th of June I observed at least 2 eggs during  a stretch break by the adult. There may have been more eggs.

On 7 July, the adult was more active in and around the nest and I
Bruce Wilkinson
thought the eggs were about to hatch.

 
When I returned the next day (July 8), both Herons were on the shore nowhere near the nest and it had been abandoned. I could not see any eggs or nestlings inside their nest. I can only imagine that perhaps a predator ( raccoon )?  had raided the nest of the poor Herons. It was such a disappointing end to what might have been the first Green Heron Nestling success in our little urban wilderness.

Maybe next year they will have a happier ending for all the work that's required from them.

Green Heron

NOTE: All observations were made at a distance of 100 yards with a telescope. At no time did I try to get close .The nest and it's location were not divulged to minimize disturbance and maximize nesting success.

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