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.
Follow my adventures!
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- Mary Jo Selinsky on Sandhill Cranes painting themselves at Delafield in Waukesha County Wisconsin on March 5, 2023
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