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Posts Tagged ‘feeding’

Molly Meserve is a graduate student at the University of New England.

Hello, my name is Molly Meserve and I am a graduate student at the University of New England in Biddeford, ME. Along with all of you I will be closely observing the fascinating behavior of Maine’s Great Blue Herons this summer. As a Maine native I am particularly interested in this work because the Great Blue Heron has been a constant in my life here in Maine. My master’s thesis focuses on the following question: Do prey delivery rates and total foraging times of Great Blue Herons in coastal and inland colonies differ and how may these factors affect chick survival? With the help of Danielle D’Auria and some wonderful HERON volunteers I have been able to visit a few of the Great Blue Heron colonies in the State. Two of those colonies have been chosen as the main focus of my study; the inland colony is located in Hollis, ME and the coastal colony is in Brunswick, ME. I will be out in the field from April 1st until about mid-August observing from ground blinds that I have set up in each of the sites mentioned above. While in the field I will be focusing on gathering accurate numbers of adults, chicks (their approximate ages), and nestlings along with prey delivery rates and time spent foraging for each nest observed.

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An adult great blue heron arrives ready to feed its nestlings. Photo by Ron Logan.

 [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…)

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