January. 24, 2021

Bent Oaks Rookery Park

In Rockport, Bent Oaks Rookery Park is a fantastic place to check out some beautiful birds in the Coastal Bend. The park is an 8.8-acre property along Broadway Street and Little Bay.

The City of Rockport purchased the land to preserve the iconic windswept oaks and an active federally protected Great Blue Heron and Great Egret rookery.

The coastal live oaks of the park offer excellent nesting sites and space for the birds. The gathering of many discourages predators, which allows the nesting to succeed.

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When we arrived in late December, a resident at our RV park told me about the Herons that have nested there for years. Our RV park is only ten minutes from Bent Oaks Park. I went to the park, hoping to see them nesting but was disappointed as they had not started.

Last Sunday we went to a craft show, and a local photographer was there. We talked for a while, and he told me the Herons had started to nest. I had my camera in the Jeep, so after the show, we drove to the park.

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The male herons flying from tree to tree gathering branches for the nest, are majestic looking in flight. The males gather the sticks and start to build the nest, and the females have to approve the nest and then help finish the nest before beginning to mate.

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The males will rise and show their plumage, hopefully attracting a female to the nest. The process might take some time as the two will often chatter before the females except the males.

I've been to the area twice, and each time, it's been different. The first time I counted 15 pairs, and the last time there were only about five pairs in the trees.

I'm not sure if we'll be here when the babies are born, but I'll keep checking.

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Photography should be fun! It's not about the phone or camera brand you're using. Always remember, your best photographs are the result of one thing, making an effort to get out and shoot.

Comments always welcomed.
Mark