Friday, July 26, 2013

Another Green Heron Generation

Greetings from apparently the least vigilant but possibly the most hopeful phenologist ever.
What: A Green Heron chick, pretty far along developmentally and capably (though cautiously) flying from one pine bough to the next.
Where: East border of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
When: 8:30 am, Friday, July 26
Observer: Abbie
Conditions: Comfortably cool and mostly cloudy sky but with patches of cerulean blue. Lovely indeed.

As readers know, last year a pair of Green Herons nested and attempted to raise a brood in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. This year, in mid-May, Christina and I again saw herons and even observed strange behavior which we surmised was a form of courtship. But despite our expeditions and upturned faces, we didn't find their nest this year. Throughout the summer, I've seen a heron in the Garden about once a week. What's worth noting is that every time I saw the bird, it was perched atop a linden tree, not hunting in the pond where I'd expect to see it. I asked myself, "If not exclusively for food, why is it hanging around here?"

Fast forward to today. The adult bird not far away, a fuzzy-headed chick is hopping and making short flights, about 15' up in the pines. It gave me hope to see such a confident and apparently fit fledgling. I imagined its migration, picturing this new bird in a new land for the winter, and then, maybe, returning to the Garden next spring.

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