Maternal Blue

Maternal Great Blue Heron

Probably my most maternal view of a Great Blue Heron tending its nest with two little chicks within the curve of her neck.

Great Blue Heron Chick Chattering at nest with its parent nearby

This image also records a protective stance as the parent guards nearby its chattering chick. But, even with the tenacious care delivered by Great Blue Heron parents not all the chicks are hardy enough to either survive or simply survive an aggressive dominant sibling crowding them out at feeding time.  The two images are of the same nest taken about one week apart. When I took image 1, even at the time, I thought the chick towards the bottom of the nest did not look very robust and that the other sib was much stronger. I always feel invested when following a nest and am disappointed when a chick does not survive.


~ by Judy on January 25, 2014.

4 Responses to “Maternal Blue”

  1. Wonderful photos. It is hard when nestmates don’t make it, but I keep telling myself that nature does know best. It won’t be long until I’ll begin my yearly ritual of fussing over the ducklings, and watching them disappear now and then. If every mallard hen had only one or two eggs, that would be one thing. But my goodness – we have so many who swim around with clutches of 12, 15 or 18 babies. If they all survived, we’d be up to our hips in ducks!

    • Thanks! The maternal great blue heron picture is one of my favourites from a couple of seasons ago. I continue to be amazed at the tenderness and diligence shown by parent herons during the breeding season. This was really the first time I knew how many chicks were in a nest and that one went missing. But, yeah, you are completely correct in saying that there is a natural order to things and sometimes we just have to be observers and not interfere.

  2. More great photos of my favourite birds. And it’s when we follow a family through from egg to successful flight that we begin to understand what is meant by ‘survival of the fittest’. It’s a harsh lesson that nature imposes.

    • That is so true. I enjoy getting to watch that cycle immensely. I never thought of survival of the fittest as starting in the nest before though. Gives sibling rivalry much more import really.

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