Great Blue Herons with young in Southern Wisconsin on May 19, 2016

I checked out a Great Blue Heron rookery in southern Wisconsin today to see what was going on. Lots of young and getting to have some size to them too. Some adults came with sticks for ongoing nest maintenance. Other adults came to the nest and regurgitated food in to the nest for the young to eat. Always amazing when I sit back and watch all these things happen. A beautiful sunny day with low winds and mild temps. Images were taken on May 19, 2016.

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Great Blue Heron

Binomial name: Ardea herodias

Category: Bitterns, Herons, and Allies

Size: 46” long, 72” wing span

Weight: 5.3 lb

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The nest has ongoing maintenance

The nest has on going maintenance

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Adult preening, with young

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Great Blue Heron at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 23, 2016

I birded some of the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning and for the most part, very quiet. One Caspian Tern at McKinley Marina and 500 + Bonaparte’s Gulls at Grant Park were the highlights that I could find along the lake. The lakefront was very cold with a stiff north wind, a few times the sun felt great. Stopped at Whitnall and just a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers were present, along with typical birds we see and birds that have been reported recently. I crossed paths with Bruce and we headed up to Greenfield Park for a last stop. There was a Great Blue Heron, a 1st year, a bird born last summer, putting on a great show, catching fish, preening and do what Great Blue Herons do. It was nice to wind down the morning with a little excitement with the heron. Images were taken on April 23, 2016.

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The catch, with a Bullhead

Great Blue Heron

Binomial name: Ardea herodias

Category: Bitterns, Herons, and Allies

Size: 46” long, 72” wing span

Weight: 5.3 lb

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Fish in neck

Fish in neck

Fish still in neck

Fish still in neck

Fish going down with a look

Fish going down with a look

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Preening

Preening, grooming and caring for the feathers

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

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Great Blue Heron with a Flathead Minnow

Stretching

Stretching

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Double catch! Great Blue Heron with Flathead Minnows

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Great Blue Heron with a Flathead Minnow

Fishing

Fishing

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Great Blue Heron with a Flathead Minnow

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Great Blue Heron with a Flathead Minnow

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Great Blue Heron with a Flathead Minnow

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Great Blue Heron with a Flathead Minnow

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The amazing feathers!

The amazing feathers!

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Great Blue Heron with a Bullhead

Great Blue Herons at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 1, 2016

I took a run over to Greenfield Park mid-afternoon do a short birding run. Great Blue Herons have returned, one seemed to want to nap while another one, a heron in full breeding plumage went hunting for some food and did some moving around too. From what I had heard, they have been back a couple of days now, how exciting. Another species I saw were 2 Pied-billed Grebes near the island. Nothing else but recent reported species. Hopefully this year they will raise another nice family there. It was mostly cloudy but the sun did shine for a couple of minutes while I was there. Images were taken on April 1, 2016.

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Great Blue Heron

Binomial name: Ardea herodias

Category: Bitterns, Herons, and Allies

Size: 46” long, 72” wing span

Weight: 5.3 lb

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Hanging out at the island

The drink

The drink

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Hunting

Hunting

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Hunting

Hunting

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Just resting off the beaten trail

Looks like a 1st year bird, a bird born last year just resting off the beaten trail

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Great Blue Herons nesting and raising young near Pewaukee in Waukesha County Wisconsin in March of 2009

I discovered a roost in Pewaukee Wisconsin back in 2009. I followed it for a couple months. During that time I watch some of the nest building, adults sitting on eggs and feeding the young. I found out adults bring sticks and branches to the nest as maintenance continues on the nest until the young leave the nest. Food was being bought in from nearby lakes and steams as I watched the adult herons come with food from all directions to the roost area. In that spring I counted 34 nests in this rookery, 18 active. A couple of years later I returned to the area and it had changed drastically. Many of the trees had fallen and the area was no longer being used by the Great Blue Herons.

Great Blue Heron in flight just before landing at the nest

Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing to the nest

Great Blue Heron

Binomial name: Ardea herodias

Category: Bitterns, Herons, and Allies

Size: 46” long, 72” wing span

Weight: 5.3 lb

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Great Blue Heron bringing in a small branch to the nest that must be in need of repair or made stronger or bigger as the young grow

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Great Blue Heron just spending time by the nest

Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing near the nest

Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing near the nest

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron near the nest

Great Blue Heron near the nest

Great Blue Heron near the nest looking around

Great Blue Heron near the nest looking around

Great Blue Heron near the nest stretching

Great Blue Heron near the nest stretching

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron feeding the young with a fish from a nearby lake or stream

Great Blue Heron feeding the young with a fish from a nearby lake, river or stream

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron with young

Great Blue Heron near the nest just watching the young

Great Blue Heron near the nest just watching the young

Rookery from a distance

Great Blue Heron rookery from a distance

Rookery from a distance

Great Blue Heron rookery from a distance

Great Blue Heron rookery from a distance

Great Blue Heron rookery from a distance

Great Blue Herons watching the eggs

Great Blue Herons watching the eggs in the nest

An airplane flies overhead and the young Great Blue Heron just look up and wonder

An airplane flies overhead and the young Great Blue Heron just look up and wonder

Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing at the nest

Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing at the nest

Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing at the nest

Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing at the nest