Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Benefits of Constant Vigilance

Young Green Herons, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Photo by Christina
What: Two Green Herons fledglings, seen out of the nest!
Where: Along the east border of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, a pair of Green Herons built a nest high in a pine tree. For several months now, Rachel, Christina, and I have been checking on the nest, watching to see that the adults were present and straining our eyes to detect young. In the week before my long vacation, we finally observed indications of a successful brood --- scarcely perceptible, we could see movement of downy head(s) and maybe a small beak at the nest's brim, under a vigilant adult.
When: June 18, 2012
Observers: Christina and Rachel, two colleagues of mine who enthusiastically stepped in as proxy phenologists over my vacation. I'm so grateful to Christina and Rachel for sustaining the continuity of our phenology practice!
Conditions: Elated! (I wasn't there to report on weather or other objective details, so I'll skip ahead to to the subjective conditions.) Upon arriving to town after vacation, the first thing I did was log into my Twitter, @openphenology. I was thrilled to read my colleagues' report of the fledglings and view their terrific photo (above). It all serves as a reminder that phenology entails a continual and regular practice. Or, to use Christina's and my mantra: Constant vigilance!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Yes! Young!

What: The Green Herons have young in the nest! For the first time, we see it with our own eyes! We struggle to document it, but the nest's too far, obscured, and poorly lit. But through binoculars, you can see a parent perched on the nest and at the nest's brim, movement of a little beak and the top of a fuzzy head.
Where: East border of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
When: Thursday, June 7, 2012 at about 5:30 pm
Observers: Abbie and Christina
Conditions: Sunny and hot.