Horicon Marsh, WI August 13, 2013

Photographs from Horicon Marsh, Fond du lac/Dodge County, Wisconsin taken August 13, 2013.

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit

Common Moorhen with young

Common Moorhen with young

Red-necked Phalaropes

3 – Red-necked Phalaropes (background)

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Juvenile Stilt Sandpiper

Juvenile Stilt Sandpiper

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

To view the full gallery of images, please click here.

Horicon Marsh, WI July 29, 2013

Photographs from Horicon Marsh, Fond du lac/Dodge County, Wisconsin taken July 29, 2013.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Baby Common Moorhen

Baby Common Moorhen

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelican

Juvenile American White Pelican

Juvenile Black Tern

Juvenile Black Tern

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

To view the full gallery of images, please click here.

Cattle Egret

The Cattle Egret is one of my nemesis birds this year. After many miles of driving through areas where Cattle Egrets had been reported, this was my first real chance to photograph one. This time it did not disappoint me. I saw not one bird, but two.  They were in a double pasture with cows just northeast of Horicon Marsh on Stumpf Road in Fond du lac County, Wisconsin.

I’ve also included images of some Wilson’s Phalaropes (Phalaropus tricolor) from Horicon Marsh.

Photographs taken July 23, 2013.

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Binomial name: Bubulcus ibis

Category: Bitterns, Herons, and Allies

Description: White plumage with cream-colored feathers on its chest, head, and tail during breeding season.  Yellow bill and gray legs.

Size: 18”-22” long, 35” – 38” wingspan

Weight: 9.5 oz. – 18 oz.

Habitat: Pastures, grasslands, meadows, and wetlands

Diet: Insects (grasshoppers and crickets), spiders, amphibians, and worms

Nesting: Cattle Egrets nest in colonies, typically near a body of water.  Both males and females build the nest; males collect twigs and sticks while the female assembles them into jumbled pile in a tree or shrub.  It is common for these birds to steal nest materials from others.  The female will lay 1 to 5 eggs and raise 1 brood each season.  Both parents incubate the eggs.  Chicks are born with down feathers but are still helpless.  The fledglings leave the nest after about 45 days.

Notes: Cattle Egrets are appropriately named as they tend to forage for food near cattle or other large, grazing animals.  They eat insects and other vertebrates spread by these animals.  The birds have also been known to forage behind farm machinery.  Farmers may welcome these birds to their pastures as Cattle Egrets will help control fly and tick populations among cattle.

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope

To view the full gallery of images, please click here.

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