Herons nesting on high

A visit to Marymoor off leash park with Finn allows me to watch blue herons building nests high, high in tree tops within the dog play area, near the Sammamish Slough.

Blue herons building nests with views.

I'm not able to zoom in, having only my iPhone handy. These herons are huge. It defies sense - and gravity - that the small branches so high in the trees can support their large bodies. I can only imagine what it's like up there when the wind howls.

I stand for some minutes, watching as one heron takes off, lands in another nearby tree that's not within this group of nesting trees, breaks a small branch off with its beak, then flies back to the nesting tree, adding the precious branch to the nest being built.A heron might circle the nesting tree a couple times, setting up its approach, even aborting a landing at the last moment and trying again before finally settling in. Other herons already perched in the tree offer a few calls of welcome, or maybe derision for the less-than-perfect landing skills.

Heron with nesting material. [Photo by PhotoBobil]

 One after another, the big birds go about building their nests. Slowly and steadily collecting twigs and bringing them back to be woven into a nest.

In the next photo, you can just see a heron in flight, appearing like a shadow against the clouds, in the very left upper side of the photo. It was very hard to for me to capture one in flight with my iPhone, especially when the sun was in my eyes.

Finn waits patiently by my side as I watch the bird show and aim my iPhone. Finn has become used to my periodic fascination with nature when we're out and about. He seems to realize that if I'm pointing a camera, he might as well sit and wait patiently for me to finish.

Finn had just waded into the slough to drink and cool off. I guess the nearby slough is why the herons are willing to nest in an area that is so full of dogs playing and barking, and people talking and strolling. Very adaptive birds.
Rebecca WallickComment