Nature & Energy Insights
For the last month and a half, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Double-crested Cormorants have been working day and night to build their nests along the shore in Morro Bay State Park. Now is a wonderful time to see all of the activity. Not knowing the Cormorants well, one visitor remarked to me that she had mistakenly presumed there were wild boar in the area. I laughed in full understanding of the mistaken identity of the Cormorants calls and explained the sounds of all of these nesting birds, and why so much vocal activity right now.
If you have the chance to visit Morro Bay, CA or any rookery like those around Clear Lake, CA or elsewhere in California and across the U.S., look WAY up in the tops of the trees. There you'll see the Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets, delicately but awkwardly balancing on the tree limb close to their very large nests. The Cormorants can typically be found in bald trees, and thus are much easier to spot. And of course as mentioned, they all have quite distinctive calls which make them easier to spot. In other areas of the state, you can more easily spot nesting Black-crowned Night Herons and Snowy Egrets not so far up in the trees.
I just love this time of year - baby birds frantically following their parents, wings aflutter, mouths agape, and those exhausted parents flitting around on the ground, in the trees, at the feeders - anywhere they can find a good food source for their young. This is a time we anxiously await in our home. Even one of our dogs participates as we help our backyard birds prepare for nest-making. Contributing his shedding hair to an empty hanging basket, the chickadees and other birds happily take from the basket full of his hair much like we might use our local "Lowes" or "Home Depot". And then we patiently await the newborn arrivals....
Finally, our patience pays off: the little ones arrive. We haven't had a chance to spy any actual nests and eggs. But our yard comes alive with the newly-fledged once they bravely leave their nests, eagerly following their parents around the yard. The young are often so awkward - I just love watching all of their "newborn" behaviors as they explore their new world. Right now, we have new Chickadees, new Lesser Goldfinches, and just this weekend we noticed a new Bewick's Wren chick with its parent. We also have numerous juvenile Dark-eyed Juncos amongst them, scavenging for food, often arguing with one another like typical siblings. They're likely from the same brood - all showing up at the same time in the season, and generally all using the yard for seed-searching. I always stop and watch in amazement the hard-working parents. It can't be easy being a bird parent - like any animal or human parent, for that matter. It's a lot of responsibility and a lot of hard work. I'm grateful for the opportunity to live in harmony with all of these beautiful birds and their young as they begin their new lives. With gratitude to all of these hard-working parents as they bring new life into the world - contributing to the chorus of nature I'm so grateful to be able to enjoy.....
Remember that this is the season of nesting, so be sure to do all of your tree trimming at a later time. You never know what birds may be using your trees and shrubs for their nesting needs. And as always, contact your local wildlife rehabilitator if you find a bird or newborn chick in need. Enjoy the season!!
Pamela, Eyes4Nature's proprietor, enjoying life out in the field among the animals and the peacefulness of nature.