June is when nestlings appear in most great blue heron colonies in Maine. In Maine, great blue herons lay their eggs anytime between late April and mid-May. After approximately 27 days of incubation, the nestlings hatch out mostly unfeathered except for pale gray down that appears a bit bushy on the crown. They weigh less than 2 ounces at hatching and can barely hold their heads up. Within a week or two they can be seen poking their heads above the edge of the nest bowl, especially when their parents return to the nest to provide food. Within 7-8 weeks, the nestlings will grow to adult size, weighing in at 4.5 lbs and standing about 3 ft tall. Check out a video clip of a heron nest with nestlings taken by Deb Dutton on Facebook!
Archive for the ‘Volunteer View’ Category
[The short article and incredible photos below are from volunteer, Ron Logan, who monitors 4 great blue heron colonies for HERON.]
The season will begin in a couple weeks to monitor my 4 Great Blue Heron colonies. These pictures are from last year and were taken from quite a distance. Generally you can’t get very close to nests, since they are in wetlands and 20 to 50 feet in the air. If you think feeding your babies was tough, or that dinner table fights with your siblings was a nightmare, imagine what it would be like as a Great Blue Heron. (more…)