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…

Black-crowned Night-Heron at Veterans Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 13, 2018

Even though it was a gloomy and rainy day I birded along a small part of the Milwaukee lakefront. Beaches Mckinley, Bradford and Lakeshore State Park had only a hand full of Ring-billed Gulls. A glance at Veterans Park provided distant views across the lagoon of a single Black-crowned Night-Heron. With rain coming down I took a distant shot of the FOY bird. A day of showers and sprinkles with little wind on a gloomy day with temps in the upper 30’s. Image was taken on April 13, 2018, a little early for this species arrival.

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Great Blue Heron feeding moments at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 22, 2017

A Great Blue Heron was seriously fishing this morning at Greenfield Park putting on a great show while I watched from a distance. This young bird ate and ate with very few misses and twice captured 2 Flathead minnows at once while I was there. It eyed some of its food from a short distance and gave striking moves to capture its morning food, but sometimes just waited for the next small fish to swim by, then the capture. Other birds present at the park were just the typical birds that have been hanging around recent weeks. It was a nice morning to be out, with low winds, full sun and warm temps. Images were taken on September 22, 2017.

Catching a pair!

Stealth mode, looking for the next catch with a drip!

The catch!

The drop…..

Stealth mode times 2…

Another catch!

Great Blue Heron with a Flathead Minnow

The heron sees something a short distance away…

Gulp!

Got it!

Another pair of Flathead Minnows!

Shaking the head with the tongue out, I have seen this before…

Another small catch…

Herons at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on September 4, 2017

I stopped at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee this morning to see what was going on. A Black-crowned Night Heron, Green Herons and Great Blue Herons were present. They gave nice views, being the Black-crowned Night Heron and Great Blue Heron were immature, there was not much action. They just were perched looking and waiting near water something to come by to feed on. The Green Heron, the bluest Green Heron I have ever seen spent most of it’s time just hunting for food. The Great Blue Heron walked across the channel which was interesting. A cloudy morning, with mild temps made for a nice day out. Images were taken on September 4, 2017.

Black-crowned Night Heron, immature…

Black-crowned Night Heron looking

Black-crowned Night Heron finding something

Shaking off!

Getting a drink

Playing with a snail…

Green Heron, 1st summer and the bluest Green Heron I have ever seen. It has been around the park for most of the summer…

Green Heron on the look out…

Green Heron, enjoying the view…

Preening

Preening

Just perched

Stretching…

Great Blue Heron, crossing the channel, going down…

and down…

down…

The middle of the channel…

Going up…

Up…

 

Green Heron perched in the hedge at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 20, 2017

One of the highlights today at Greenfield Park was a juvenile Green Heron perched in a hedge north of the large pond. It was a highlight because it was a slower day than the usual there plus you typically see these birds on the pond perched on a stick. 4 Green Herons were present today along with a Great Blue Heron and Belted Kingfishers to name a few. Thanks to Dave F for finding this bird perched in the hedge and getting the word out to others at the park as this bird gave nice views. A warm day at the park, low winds, mostly cloudy skies and of photographers visiting from different parts of the state. Images were taken on August 20, 2017.

Some preening here…

When I left the heron was just resting up there enjoying the nice day…

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron and Juvenile Green Herons at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 5, 2017

A stop this morning at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County proved worth while. Juvenile Green Herons and a Black-crowned Night Heron gave nice views and put on some shows. The Green Herons fished for food, but came up with very little size wise if anything as they are still learning the ropes. The juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron just hung out at a few locations there, preening was the highlight. Also present, the pair of Belted Kingfishers which are seen often flying back and forth around the pond. Plenty of juvenile Wood Ducks are at most ponds. A beautiful morning out with low 70’s, sun and a nice breeze from the northwest. Images were taken on August 5, 2017.

Black-crowned Night Heron, juvenile

Black-crowned Night Heron, juvenile preening

Black-crowned Night Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile eyeing up it’s next meal

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile, in for the catch!

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile, it may have something here!

Green Heron, juvenile, heads out of the water…

Green Heron, juvenile, on to the log…

Green Heron, juvenile, a look around…

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile, back to fishing…

Green Heron, juvenile on alert!

Green Heron, juvenile, the closeup…

Green Heron, juvenile, more fishing…

Green Heron, juvenile, waiting for the next catch!

Green Heron catching and eating fish at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on July 11, 2017

During a visit at Greenfield Park this morning I observed a Green Heron fishing, catching fish and eating them. This bird is a 1st summer Green Heron, born last year. A typically event that occurs here daily during the summer months are Green Herons fishing all around the pond, rotating their fishing spots to allow new food to come into those places. Some of the species seen today at the park were 2 Green Herons, 2 Great Blue Herons, 2 Belted Kingfishers and a couple groups of Wood Ducks with the mother and young. The day was just a little slower than normal. A beautiful morning out with mostly sunny skies and warm temps but not as hot as it could be for this time of year. Images were taken on July 11, 2017.

Green Heron, the catch with a fish……and a weed too

Green Heron

Binomial name: Buborides virescens

Category: Bitterns, Herons, and Allies

Size: 18” long, 26” wing span

Weight: 7 oz

The gulp!

Fishing…

Fishing and then just before the catch…

Got-em!

Getting a good grip!

The catch, a nice fish!

A look around

More fishing…

An incredible stretch for the next catch!

And a nice catch!

Killing and turning the fish around to go down the throat…

The gulp!

Sitting pretty…

Black-crowned Night-Herons at Veterans Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 14, 2017

Doing some birding along the lakefront in Milwaukee today, Bruce and I stopped to check out if the Black-crowned Night-Herons were still by the lagoon, as they were yesterday. They were, but only 3 as 4 were seen yesterday. I’m sure the other one is around. One did a little preening but that was about it for action. Beautiful birds always sitting high in the trees. It will be interesting to see how long the hang around. A little nice day than yesterday to get a couple shots off. Images were taken on April 14, 2017.

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Black-crowned Night-Heron

Binomial name: Nycticorax nycticorax

Category: Bitterns, Herons, and Allies

Size: 25” long, 44” wing span

Weight: 1.9 lb

In flight

In flight

One doing a little preening

Doing a little preening