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Venice Audubon Rookery Park

During the mating season, you may see a variety of birds. The early mating season begins in December and continues to May. Great Blue Herons, Cormorants, and Great Egrets are usually some of the first to build nests, incubate eggs, and raise chicks.

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Blue Herons nest building. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

In this blog post, I'm featuring the Blue Herons. They are one of the largest birds in the Heron family. I'll be adding more posts from the rookery with other species.

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Blue Herons courting. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

During the courtship and nest building, they are fun to watch. They quarrel and show affection to each other.

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Blue Herons in flight and courting. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

The males search for nesting material, returning branches and small twigs to the female who builds the nest.

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Blue Herons. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

It was foggy early, and by mid-morning, the fog had cleared, and the morning sun lit the rookery. I liked this picture with the blurry background and them looking right at each other. I wonder what they were thinking.

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Blue Herons in flight. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

There were about twenty-five photographers at the rookery. Some were watching this exact pair. It became comical as the male took off looking for twigs; one photographer said, "estimated time of return five minutes. It returned in about three minutes, and some of us laughed.

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Tricolored Herons nest building. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

This time, it returned with a more extensive branch. The pair seem to be fighting over this one.

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Blue Herons leaving for nesting twigs. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

It only took a few minutes, and the male was off again, scouting for more material.

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Blue Herons with chick. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

This nest drew the most attention as it had a chick. We were lucky as it was upfront and completely exposed. I'm unsure, but this chick is around two or three weeks old. They grow extremely fast, and the fledging period lasts 49-81 days after hatching.

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Blue Heron with chicks. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

I waited my turn to get closer to the front of the nest. I was photographing the two when I saw more movement. It was hard to know until I saw a few pictures and noticed the more petite chick at the bottom of the nest. It looked weaker, and I hope it gets enough food to survive.

As most of you know, I followed the rookery in Rockport, TX., for a couple of winters. They started nesting later in Texas, and I never saw any chicks. These are the first Blue Heron chicks born this year at the rookery, and I hope to return soon.

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

Comments are always welcomed.

Mark

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