Heron Chicks Trying Out Their Wings

Marsh grass foreground, tall trees with nests in the background

Wetlands and Rookery Near Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin

Chicks at the local heron rookery are looking more and more like adults, but they still lack adult plumage as well as the ability to fly. Just like the chicks, the grass in the approach to the nesting area is growing rapidly. In the last week it has grown another foot and is now over six feet high in many places. I spent two hours there last Friday and emerged with grass seed all over me. The photo above, taken from the road, shows the grassy wetlands in the foreground and the rookery location, which can be seen along the tree line at the back just right of center. On the other side of the rookery, not visible in the photo, is a four lane highway with lots of trucks. They are clearly audible in the video below.

This video is only about two minutes long. It shows three nests of chicks taking in the sun. Unfortunately, no adults visited these nests during the time I was there. I would really like to get some video of adults feeding the young ones. While choosing the shots for this video, I learned that the chicks spend a lot of time vibrating the underside of their throats. I don’t know what this is about. So, if you do, please let me know.

Video Notes: Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500 mm lens

This video is best seen on YouTube in High Definition using the medium size viewer. If you view it on a tablet, full-screen should be fine.

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