Great Blue Heron Mystery Of The Missing Inhabitants In The Rookery

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In 2010 we discovered a Great Blue Heron rookery not too far from our home where we were living at the time.

great-blue-heron-mystery Great Blue Heron Mystery:
The Missing Birds At The Rookery

We made it our goal to take pictures of the various stages of life in the rookery.

Therefore, with the early arrival of warm weather that year we made several trips to the rookery to see if we could catch a glimpse of these fantastic birds as they repaired their nests and got ready for the arrival of that year’s batch of babies.

As this rookery has at least four nests we were excited about the possibilities of photographing the development of many young birds.

Every few days we eagerly traveled to the site of the rookery.

But each time we were disappointed to find it vacant.

As days became weeks without the arrival of these magnificent birds we began to worry as to why they had not arrived.

Were they victims of the Gulf oil disaster?

Did they get lost?

(The pictures on this page are of other nest sites.)

great-blue-heron-mystery Great Blue Heron Gathering Nest Material

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Did The Great Blue Heron Mystery Get Resolved?

Needless to say, we were not only disappointed, but also worried as to why the Blue Herons had not shown up at “their” rookery.

Ironically, at the end of that summer I transferred to another location for the company that I worked for.

The next spring when we went back to our old “home town” we happened to pass by the rookery.

And, much to our surprise all four nests were “busy” with new Blue Heron families!

We were delighted to witness their return.

But as happy as we were, we were equally dismayed that for some foolish reason I had left my camera at home.

That is why I have no pictures to share of the chicks sitting up in their nests waiting the return of their parents with lunch.

I cannot tell you how disappointed I was.

great-blue-heron-pair-in-nest Both Parents Take Part In Rearing Their Young

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Why Had The Great Blues Abandoned Their Rookery?

Why did the Blue Herons return?

We discovered that for no known reason, Blue Herons will vacate a rookery and use, or create another rookery elsewhere.

Another birder gave us information that verified what we had experienced about the transience of the Blue Herons in terms of their choice of rookery location.

She told us that in her area Blue Herons were using a rookery this year that had been vacant for more than a decade.

We were astounded and comforted to discover this piece of information.

We know that in any given year they may or may not be there, but that likely they are somewhere in a suitable location of their choice.

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 Great Backyard Bird Stories

  • The Birding Curve  Many new backyard bird watchers will be able to relate to this story of one persons experience, when he first began watching birds in his  backyard with his family.
  • Grampy Cardinal 
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    that resulted in his love of birds being passed on to his Granddaughter.
  • Love Feeding Birds  A wonderful story how a family moved into a home with a large yard and transformed it into a paradise for themselves and the creatures in their area.
  • Dad And His Hummingbirds  A heart warming true story of how Hummingbirds brought a family torn apart in time, together, to build cherished memories.
  • Great Blue Heron Mystery  These intriguing birds are a fascination with their austere good looks, which lend well to a good mystery. Read our puzzle over their rookery.
  • Birch Tree & Woodpecker  A rich legend of how a precious commodity given by trees was discovered by humans.  
  • Sandhill Crane  Two Sandhill Cranes who have discovered a shortcut to a place where they can quickly satisfy their healthy appetites and bring their young one along too.
  • Cooper’s Hawk At Feeder  Sharp-shinned Hawks and Cooper’s Hawks are often seen hunting at bird feeding stations looking for lunch.
  • Backyard Bird Stories  There could never be an end to all the interesting and amazing stories that could be told about backyard birds. Hope you enjoy these!

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