Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Eviction in Heron's Nest

As I have said before, one cannot afford to get emotionally involved with wildlife...

Yesterday there was discord in the Grey Heron's nest: when I arrived the three mature chicks were prancing up and down on their branch. Then one of them started to climb their ivy-covered tree, jumping from branch to branch and clambering through the ivy in an ungainly fashion until he reached a very high position:

After some time he evidently decided it was time to return to the comfort of his nest and started to make his way down the tree...

and this was when the trouble began: his two siblings started to be extremely aggressive, squawking, flapping their wings wildly and stretching up serpentine necks, showing him very clearly that he was not welcome in his nest:

It really was disturbing to watch...he kept making new attempts but every time received the same unwelcoming reception. One of the two nest-defending birds then started mounting the tree himself. They both disappeared in the ivy at the back of the tree where I could only see occasional wild beatings of wings.

Eventually, the ostracized bird retreated to another high position on the tree, seeming to give up. And this was the last I saw of him...

Today I anxiously returned: just two conquering birds on the branch and an empty nest as I had expected. I felt quite desolate!

While watching them, I became aware of a movement in the undergrowth on the islands' shore not far from the nest. It turned out to be two herons. They were difficult to see in the foliage but I reckon one was a parent bird and the other the evicted chick.

Well, I expect my next heron report will be to say the birds have flown. I will miss them.

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