Black-crowned Night-Herons at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 19, 2021

I got a tip this morning on Black-crowned Night-Herons at Lakeshore State Park and I went to check them out. There were 3 juvenile birds present and they hung out on the rock shores catching food on one occasion that I saw. A few other attempts for food were made but they were missed. It was a beautiful day that warmed up to hot by noon, sunny skies and low winds. Images were taken on September 19, 2021.

The Black-crowned Night-Heron juvenile hunting…

Such a beautiful bird…

Hunting…

Preening…

Waiting for something to come swimming by…

Here’s a catch, a fish…

Moving around on some rocks…

Standing at the shore this one waits for something to come by to eat…

Standing in the water and waiting for something to eat…

Just waiting for something to come by to eat…

 

 

Great Blue Heron hunting and finding things to eat at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 24, 2021

As I walked Greenfield Park this morning I came across a juvenile Great Blue Heron. The heron was walking through a weedy area out about 25 feet from shore. It moved slowly through the weeds catching a few fish and missing a few too. It was a warm morning and only going to get hotter with mostly sunny skies and little wind. Images were taken on August 24, 2021.

Hunting in the weeds listening and waiting for the next chance to catch a fish…

A try and a miss…

A nice catch here…

On its feet, so silent moving through the weeds listening and watching for something to catch and eat….

Such a beautiful bird…

Getting low in the water, it must see something ahead…

Just a nice pose…

Attack mode…

Another nice catch!

Moving into some deeper water here as there must be something ahead…

And another…

Great Blue Heron in Sawyer County Wisconsin on July 2, 2021

While out birding on some back roads in Sawyer County I came across a Great Blue Heron. It was standing on a log preening when I went by. A beautiful morning out with temps in the upper 50’s to start and sunny skies. Images were taken on July 2, 2021

Great Blue Heron perched on a log…

Those beautiful feathers…

Dagger type bill…

Snowy Egret at Lincoln Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on May 17, 2021

This is a great bird for the area, more of a southern species, but they are seen in the state every year it seems. I made the run over to Lincoln Park after the word got out about the Snowy Egret. I heard Tom Wood was the finder of this visiting bird and got the word out for others to come see it, thank you Tom! The park has many sandbars on the Milwaukee River and is a big open area. The Snowy Egret never was close but I took a few distant shots to share. The bird did some feeding on the river and moved around a little, gave a nice show from a distance. It starting preening on a log and looked like not much was going to be going on for awhile and I left. Hope it hangs around for others to see it. It was a nice sunny morning, with temps around 60 degrees. Images were taken on May 17, 2021.

The Snowy Egret at a distance, looking for something to eat…

In search of something to eat…

Doing some preening…

Great Egret at Humboldt Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 25, 2021

Stopping at Humboldt Park was a good choice today with a Great Egret present. It put on a beautiful show for the time I was there trying to get something to eat. Of the 4 times I watched it go for I assume fish it failed and eventually left the park out of sight. The morning started out cold and then the sun finally warmed things up with sunny skies, temps were around 32 degrees.

The Great Egret…near the island…

Perched here, looking and waiting for something to eat…showing its beautiful plumes…

The Great Egret goes for something to eat…

Chasing something…

That catch failed and the egret heads back to the perch…

Flies to anther spot…

Another try and fails to get something to eat from what I think…

Perched pretty…

And to another location at the pond…

On the island waiting for something to come by…

Green Heron at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 20, 2021

While doing a walk around today at Greenfield Park a colorful Green Heron along one of the islands caught my eye. The bird did not hang around, but just enough for a photo. Other species to note at the park were a pair of Wood Ducks walking in the grass, a few in Pee-Soup-Pond and a couple of Blue-winged Teal and Pied-billed Grebes out in the open water. It was a cloudy day with steady breeze from the north and temps only in the mid 30’s. Images were taken on April 20, 2021.

The Green Heron…

The Wood Duck, male…

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at Grant Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 14, 2021

One of my birding stops today was seeing if the reported Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was still present. After 4 days this juvenile bird is still hanging around. It was perched 20 feet off the ground in a Willow tree over looking a small pond. It was a cloudy day, cold with temps only at 37 degrees and a good north wind making it feel like winter. Image was taken on April 14, 2021.

Great Egret at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 15, 2020

One of my birding stops today produced a surprise Great Egret. Greenfield Park was one stop on the way home, just in case. I guess today was that day. The bird was off an island feeding when I arrived. On a couple of occasions it fed along a shore until pedestrians came along on bike or foot not realizing the bird was there and the bird flushed. Still one Green Heron present, just saw it fly by when I was there. It was a beautiful day with some sun, a nice breeze, actually had a sweatshirt today. Images were taken on September 15, 2020.

Great Egret moving through the water very slow, hunting for something to eat…

A fish!

In flight after a biker came by…

Getting a fish!

Another fish…

New catch…

I think this is the kill….squish!

Almost down…

A little bite!

Fish in the throat going down…

Green Herons at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 28, 2020

While birding Lakeshore State Park I came across 2 Green Herons hunting for food. They were not very productive while I watched, but it was still nice to see some of their actions. There was one fish taken, a Rock Bass. It was a warm morning, a nice breeze helped, sunny skies. Images were taken on August 28, 2020.

Green Heron, adult

With a nice Rock Bass…

Watching for something to come by…

In search of food at Veterans Park 9/1/2020

Going for a Damselfly and getting it at Veterans Park 9/1/2020

With the Damselfly…at Veterans Park 9/1/2020

Just looking pretty…

Just looking around…

Great Egrets at Echo Park in Burlington Wisconsin on July 21, 2020

I stopped out at Echo Park in Burlington to see if any Great Egrets were present. Surprisingly there were 8 present, they were spread out, some perched in trees on the lake, a few at the dam, some in tree tops near the dam. At the dam a couple of the Great Egrets were fishing hard for fish to eat and they did well while I was there. It was a very pleasant morning with partly cloudy skies, low winds, and temps around 75 early. Images were taken on July 21, 2020.

Great Egret with a fish…

Stealth mode here waiting for a fish to come by…

Nice catch!

At the dam…

Typically head first!

Beautiful bird!

Shaken off…

Shaken off…

Just being a Great Egret here…

Green Herons on the nest in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on May 29, 2019

I have never come across and active Green Heron nest in the 9 years I have been birding or even an empty one. So this one I photographed today was a real treat. The 2 adults were present most of the time I was there, sometimes together on the nest, other times the male was out on a limb with the female on the nest. I am sure an egg was laid while I was present as when I arrived the female seemed to be circling on the nest and no egg was present. Shortly there after I noticed an egg on the nest. I was there for a very shot time. It was a cloudy day with some mist early but mild temps and low winds so it was not too bad out. Images were taken on May 29, 2019.

The female sitting on the nest when found…

The male comes over to the nest and the female does some moving around on the nest and a blue egg is now seen…

Both adults together, they were moving around the egg with their bills…

Both birds looking at the egg…

The female turns around maybe to lay another egg, I left the area not wanting to disturb anything…

Green Heron Takes a Minnow for Lunch at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 19, 2018

One of my birding stops today was the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee County. The highlight was watching a juvenile Green Heron fishing for something to eat. The Green Heron was perched on some downed branches in water near Mystery Lake. A Golden Shiner minnow came swimming by the Green Heron, the heron grabbed it and that was it for the Golden Shiner. A couple flips of the small fish in the herons mouth and it was gone. Some of the other birds to note, Belted Kingfisher, Coopers Hawk, Northern Flickers, Brown Creeper, warblers~ Common Yellowthroats, Palms, Blackpoll and a Nashville. Overall kind of quiet. It was a gloomy day with some brightness at times, temps were about 65 degrees, a nice breeze from the east. Images were taken on September 19, 2018.

Perched and fishing, waiting for something to come by…

The catch, a Golden Shiner!

Holding onto the minnow tight…

The heron decides it is going to come down on the perch to eat…

Gets closer to the water…

Going to get a better grip here…

Re-grabs the minnow…

Getting ready to swallow it…

In it goes…

And the gulp!

A quick drink of water which is what herons usually do after eating something….

Perched pretty for more fishing…

Great Blue Heron Scuffle at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on September 2, 2018

While birding Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County this morning the highlight was a scuffle with two Great Blue Herons. The two Great Blue Herons came around a corner of an island at the pond and after they landed, the scuffle began and they gave great views of the interaction between them. Must be a territorial thing. It was a slightly overcast morning with a nice breeze, temps were perfect! It was a great time with great friends, birders and photographers too. Images were a taken on September 2, 2018.

Around the corner they come…

About to land…

The scuffle…

They go their own ways…

Black-crowned Night-Heron in Action at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 24, 2018

While birding Lakeshore State Park this morning in Milwaukee in search of shorebirds, I came across a juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron. This heron put on an amazing show while I watch it. Some of the excitement was producing a pellet, eating a vole and some exercises. Herons are known to produce pellets. A beautiful bird and still only a juvenile. It was a cloudy day with a stiff breeze out of the southwest, temperatures pleasant and a few times I felt I should have a light jacket. I couple of shorebirds were present and they were Semipalmated Plovers and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Images were taken on August 24, 2018.

Black-crowned Night-Heron, juvenile

Sitting and waiting for the next meal…

Always looking the area over for any movement…

Waiting…

Starts to cough up a pellet…

Out drops the pellet…

The heron looks at it…

A quick dip in the water for a drink I would assume…

A small mouth stretch…

Next it catches a vole…trying to get a grip here…

Does not look good for the vole…

Getting it in the right position to swallow it…

In and down it goes…

A quick dip in the water with the bill, typically something they do after eating something…

Looks full…

Looking for the next catch…

Playing with and old Cattail cane, herons play with objects and practice their skills

Playing…

Playing…

It was pulling here on the old cane…

Pulling…exercising…

Looking around and the stiff winds blow the head feathers up…

Climbing around on the rocks…

A close-up…

A wing stretch…

Preening…

Scratching…

The feet…

A good mouth stretch…

Perched pretty…

Great Egret in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 12, 2018

Doing some birding in Milwaukee County along the Menominee River Parkway, I came across a Great Egret in a small pond. The adult Great Egret did some hunting for food, caught some food, ate food and did some preening too. It ate crayfish, minnows and some larger fish. A beautiful bird! It was a warm morning out, little wind and mostly sunny. Images were taken on August 12, 2018.

The Great Egret coming in for a landing…

The slow down…

It is there…

Some of the beauty of the Great Egret…

It catches a minnow size fish…

Preening with a dragonfly on its back…

Sees a new spot to check out for food…

Going for something to eat…

Catches a crayfish and holds it….a dragonfly on its back…

Flips the crayfish…

Trying to get a better grip…

Drops it into the water…

Grabs it out of the water…

Brings it up…

Trys to hold it steady…

gives it a flip and…

In it goes with the dragonfly still on its back…

Looking and listening for the next food…

Another shot of the Great Egrets free rider, the dragonfly…

Another catch of a small fish…

Preening in the tree…straightening all those feathers…

Perched pretty…

A landing…

Concentration….right before the catch…

The reflection in the early morning sun…

The catch!

Yet another little fish to eat…

Then a crayfish…

A juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron lands close by…

The closeup of the Black-crowned Night-Heron…

A Juvenile Green Heron attempts to eat a Bullfrog at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 4, 2018

Doing some birding at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee I came across a juvenile Green Heron attempting to eat a bullfrog. As young as this heron is, being born a few months ago, it just could not get the bullfrog down its throat. In recent days I have watched some of these herons eat small minnows at the most, so this was no surprise. I beautiful morning out with a light breeze, some sun and mild temps early 0f 70 degrees. Images were taken on August 4, 2018.

After the catch, the juvenile Green Heron re-grabs the bull frog…

Picks it up…

Thinking how it is going to get this bullfrog in…

Re-grabbing to start the process of getting it down, head first…

In it goes…but the heron can not get it down so…

The heron wets the bullfrog…it is what they do to make it go down easier…

Another try here…

Another dip in the water…

Lets try this again…

Ok…

Getting in position again…

Spin it…

Working on it…

Still trying…

Almost…

More struggle…

Going in again…

Can’t happen…

The Green Heron never ate the bullfrog…….I missed the last shot of the bull frog falling into the water…not uncommon for a heron species to pick up something bigger than they can eat and try to get it down…

Black-crowned Night-Heron at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on July 30, 2018

A stop at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee this morning provided nice views of an adult Black-crowned Night-Heron. One has been seen on and off for the last couple of weeks, mostly off. This is the first time I have seen it in plan view. I saw it yesterday perched high in a tree pretty much out of sight, but viewable with bins.  It was a nice surprise for a change. There were also plenty of Green and Great Blue Herons also present at the pond. It was a gorgeous morning, very little wind, full sun with a pleasant temperature of 65-70 degrees.

First view of the adult Black-crowned Night-Heron…

The reflection shot…

Looking and waiting for something to eat, showing off its classic plume…

It makes its way towards the island under some cover and snatches something to eat…

The gulp, swallowing whatever it found to eat…

Looks around on where to go next close to the island…

Comes back out in the open…

Perches pretty…

Looks around…

Something catches its attention…

….but then looks around some more and then heads onto the island pretty much out of sight…

Shaken’ off and all fluffed up…

Great Egret Rookery in Waukesha County Wisconsin on July 19, 2018

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to walk into a Great Egret rookery in Waukesha County. This rookery is tucked away on private property and has no access to the public, sorry. The rookery was nothing like I would have expected. It was a full grown mature forest of hardwoods. As I entered the rookery on the forest floor, the sounds of squawking birds was almost overwhelming. High above on the tree tops were at least 6 active Great Egret nests with good size chicks ready to fledge the nest, most where already out on the limbs strengthening their wings and legs for their maiden flights. A few chicks were still just sitting on the nest. A few adults were seen flying over, monitoring the young chicks maybe, but I just did not see any on the edge of the nest. With all the dense foliage above in the canopy, you could see a Great Egret chick above, take 4 steps and struggle to see the same bird from a different location, the foliage was that dense.  Amazing as it may sound, there were also at least 40 plus Great Blue Heron nests, and many of them were active too. Same thing, most birds were at the edge of the nest, some in the nest or on limbs close by, a few feet away waiting for their maiden flight. It appeared some Great Egret nests were a few feet from Great Blue Herons nests and many were perched near each other too. A few interesting observations were made, it appears at least 2 deceased Great Egrets chicks were seen in different nests from below. Also, a skeleton of a Great Blue Heron is seen hanging off the side of a nest. It was an exciting experience to see and so educational as well. A couple images may be of the same nest taken from a different location there. Thanks to who made this visit possible. It was a mild day with temps about 80, full sun, no wind. Images were taken on July 19, 2018.

1st sighting, a pair of  Great Egret fledglings in the nest with a 3rd behind on the left perched out of the nest…

Looking up into the canopy, in a opening is a Great Egret fledgling perched, we had to look hard to see these birds in the canopy above…

A Great Egret fledgling in the nest and another 2 fledglings perched outside the nest on each side of the nest on limbs along with a Great Blue Heron fledgling on the right…

A Great Egret fledgling perched with a nest in front of it and Great Blue Herons fledgling in a nest close by…

A pair of Great Egrets fledglings perched out of the nest waiting…

Great Blue Heron fledglings in their nest with in close proximity of the Great Egrets…

Two perched Great Egret fledglings perched front of their nest with another one on the left near the nest or in it…

A Great Blue Heron juvenile perched above the nests…

Great Egret fledglings perched with another one in the nest on the left…

(Graphic) Skeleton of a deceased Great Blue Heron hanging over the side of the nest…

Two Great Egret fledglings perched high near the top of the canopy which is where they all were in this rookery, one doing some preening…

Great Egret nest did not appear as dense as a Great Blue Heron nest…

A Great Blue Heron is perched on the side of the nest of what appears to be a deceased Great Egret chick in the nest…

Two Great Blue Heron fledglings appear to be looking down at me…

A  Great Egret fledgling in the nest…

A Great Blue Heron fledgling perched on the end of a limb with another one overlooking the situation, it is how they strengthen their wings and legs…

A little off balance here, it is all about getting stronger legs and wings…

More of the Great Blue Heron fledgling balancing act…

Great Blue Heron broken egg shell on the ground…

Great Blue Heron egg on the ground with eye glasses for size comparison…

Broken Great Blue Heron egg from a nest above…

Breeding plumes found from an adult Great Egret placed on a log…

Great Blue Heron nest looking up, appears more dense then the Great Egret nest, maybe bird size?

Another image of the first pair of Great Egret fledglings seen…

Great Blue Heron with the Goldfish at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County on June 8, 2018

One of my birding stops this morning was Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County. A slow morning out, the highlight at Greenfield Park was a Great Blue Heron hunting, catching and eating a Goldfish. It is always nice to see a heron eat something other than a Goldfish, but I guess it is good if they are taken out of the pond. Other species seen where a few Green Herons doing some high flybys. A beautiful morning out with light sun, low winds and temps in the upper 60’s. Images were taken on June 8, 2018.

The Great Blue Heron looking and waiting for something to eat…

Intense listening and looking and waiting for the next meal…

The catch…

Some handling of the fish…

More handling of the fish…

More handling of the fish…

Turning the fish in the correct position to swallow…

In it goes…

Going in…

Going down…

Gulp…

More gulp with a quick drink which is what they do typically after eating something…

Waiting for the next snack…

To a new fishing spot…

Great Egrets at Humboldt Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 19, 2018

One of my birding stops today was at Humboldt Park in Milwaukee. There have been a couple of Great Egrets hanging around there and they were still present today. They did a little fishing but for the most part remained perched in some trees on one of the islands there. A nice stop over for them there as they won’t be around long. Along with the Great Egrets, a few Red-breasted Mergansers, Blue-winged Teal and Mallards were present. A nicer day than what we have had in the past with some sun and temps near 40 degrees. Images were taken on April 19, 2018.

The beauty of two Great Egrets looking for a place to perch…

Fishing

More fishing…

A flyby…

Perched on an island…

Focused on the next meal…