Videos were taken from 3/19/2010 to 5/8/2010. Videos were triggered by a motion sensor so the time is not linear. Periods with more activity such as when the young birds were being fed are disproportionately longer than those with less activity. Fifty two hours of video were compressed (by removing frames) to this five minute video. Nest repairs began on March 19th. Eggs were laid around April 5th. Eggs hatched around April 19th and the last bird fledged on May 8th.Here are some highlights to look for:
0:00-0:50 - repair and refurbish pre-existing nest
0:50-2:00 - egg laying and incubation
2:00 - eggs have hatched, feeding begins!
2:25 - look for heads to start popping up
2:50 - the young ones are now easily seen
3:10 - getting bigger...
3:49 - more activity and movement from babies
4:38 - 2 birds leave the nest
4:49 - #3 leaves the nest
4:53 - #3 comes back
4:55 - #3 leaves again
4:56- end: #4 and #5 argue about who's leaving next
5:04 - empty!
It's amazing to watch the progression of the nest being shored up, and the way the babies grow. Enough of my babbling, though. I know you guys want to actually see the video!
The 2nd video is one I captured just the other evening when we were out for a leisurely paddle on Fox Lake. The lake was thick with Great Blue Herons - I've never seen so many there at one time. They weren't too crazy about sharing the shoreline with each other, even though there was plenty of room to accommodate them all. There was one spot that seemed to offer up some great fishing, a spot well worth defending, as you will see in this video. Enjoy!