Saturday, June 23, 2007
Life Bird #273 Today!
I apologize for the poor quality of these photos. I know it isn't what you all have come to expect from the good birding sites out here on the 'Net. I'm so excited by seeing these birds that I have to share them with you, and these are the best of a bad lot of pictures, so bear with me.
This is a Yellow-crowned Night Heron nest, and it is in a sycamore tree in a suburban area of Columbus, Ohio. There were a total of 5 chicks in this nest, with another nearby.
Yellow-crowned Night Herons are listed as threatened in Ohio, and breeding pairs are especially rare. We are on the extreme northern limits of their range. Dayton (along the Great Miami River) and Columbus (near the Scioto) are the only two known places to find colonies. They are messy nesters and the directions to this site said "Look for obvious guano," so it is amazing to me that Yellow-crowned Night Herons have been nesting in the upscale Columbus neighborhood of Bexley for 11 years. The residents not only tolerate their avian neighbors, but also the birders who flock to their quiet street to see the rarities. Thank you, Bexley-ites, for putting up with both of us!
One of 5 juvenile Night Herons I saw today. The young are branching, like owlets do - moving around in the nest, walking out a bit on the supporting branches, flapping their wings and hopping around, then returning to the safety of the nest. Soon, they will fly, and Bexley residents can wash off their streets and sidewalks for another year.