Saturday, October 9, 2010

Juvenile Tricolored Heron at the Ibis Pond Rookery

Birding Hilton Head Island and Pinckney Island NWR, SC
In June, Matty, Rick and I spent a week on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. While Matty skimboarded and Rick played tennis, I headed to Pinckney Island to bird. I was there almost every day and have so many cool photos. This first series is of a juvenile Tricolored Heron waiting patiently for his mama or papa to bring him some lunch. He was the first bird I saw when I parked my bike and walked toward the Ibis Pond Rookery. I was shocked because he was on "our" side...not across the alligator mote on the unreachable island in the middle of Ibis Pond. Last year all the nests in the rookery were confined to the tiny island (click here for last year's 15 Pinckney Island posts), but this year, several Tricolored Heron families, Snowy Egret families, and Little Blue Heron families were nesting together in their own little colony on our side of the mote in the small trees near the water. The rookery had expanded...

This juvenile Tricolored Heron had already left the nest, but he was not old enough to fly out to the feeding grounds to find his own meal and still relied on his parents for regurgitated food.

Two of his siblings were hanging out in the treetops with him (they were about 20 feet off the ground, and their empty nest was about 7 feet off the ground). This fellow was getting very excited because he could see his mama or papa approaching...

Food!! Thank goodness...

He wanted more, but mama had other babies to feed...

...and other designs in mind. She seemed to be trying to get him to fly, and she stayed with him for a while, while he flapped his wings.

...eventually she took off and flew over to the other sibling.



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36 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Kelly, I'm so glad to finally get to see your photos from your June trip to the Hilton Head area.

That baby Heron is adorable. I've never seen one that little... He was thrilled when Mama (or was it Daddy) came and fed him... Oh how precious!!!!

Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

Kelly said...

Thanks, Betsy! ...mama and papa look alike, so who knows! Both parents incubate the eggs and share responsibilities...

Montanagirl said...

Wow - this series is just amazing. You do such a wonderful job with your photography. Can't wait to see more!

Mike B. @ slugyard.com said...

Gorgeous birds- great sequence.

mick said...

A great series of photos. You were fortunate to be close enough to see and photograph such detail. I like the first photograph especially where it looks like a very spiky hair style!

Elaine said...

These are supurb! I love the "do" on the baby, quite stylish. A whole week of photos from Pinckney Island, how cool is that! I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Nature ID said...

Great photographs!

holdingmoments said...

Amazing sequence of shots Kelly.
That first one had me going 'wow' when I saw it; then each one just got better.

Chris said...

Wonderful set of pictures Kelly. I love the two first ones a lot, he is so cute there. But the whole set is fantastic!

Bob Kaufman said...

Great photos of the juvenile tri-coloreds! Isn't it nice that the rookery is now on the more approachable side?

forestal said...

fantastic pictures Kelly. I have only seen an adult once, wonderful to watch them being fed

dan

Jayne said...

How beautiful, esp. the photos with mama! Lucky you to get to see her tending to him. :c)

Hilke Breder said...

Kelly, absolutely stunning shots of TcH youngster and parent! Such intensity in the expression of the juvenile in the first two photographs!

grammie g said...

Hi Kelley....that is the cutest and wonderful photos of!!
That young I think may have a cowlick problem though. : }

Louise said...

What beautiful birds! I never heard of a Tri-colored Heron, and am very happy to be introduced to them.

Out on the prairie said...

Beautiful shots of a gorgeous bird.I have been out over the winter quite a few times.

Susan said...

Great shots!! It's als ncie to be able to visualize Ibis Pond, having been there now (and want to return). Your commentary is spot on and great entertainment Kelly!

troutbirder said...

Fantastic shots Kelly. I have to admit as a novice birder on a first ever trip to Florida I had real trouble IDing this one. My old Peterson in hand I though it looked somewhat like a Louisiana Heron something or other. No it couldn't be...it was out of range etc. etc. Apparently they changed the name of this bird without informing me. :btw thanks for visiting my "other" blog. I also have a nature blog which I invite you to take a look at...

JKoenig said...

Hi Kelly,

I remember the last time you visited there and how much I enjoyed all your pictures. These are all so super! You seemed to be there at just the right time to record such an interesting exchange between mother and child.
I'm looking forward to more!

Have a great day!!

Lúcia said...

Wonderful series Kelly!
The birds are so beautiful and the momento very special.
Regards

rebeccainthewoods said...

My favorite heron - phenomenal photos!

Phil said...

I just love those top two shots Kelly. Don't you just want to get a pair of scissors and trim that fluffy baby hair?

Jenny said...

I'm bowled over by these beautiful lush and crisp photos Kelly. I think I said last year that this Pinchey place is one amazing birding area! Maybe one day I'll get there! (-:

Laure Ferlita said...

Love that 'do in the first couple of shots!

Wonderful series and I look forward to more.

Tammie said...

I feel as though you took me back in time, time long ago. Such wonderful portraits and glimpses into their lives. Thank you.

Halcyon said...

Fantastic shots! What a treat to see them so closeup.

Larry said...

Another fantastic photo series Kelly! Your photos are phenomenal!

The first shot especially, with the down still on the top of the little one's head is gorgeous. You got excellent shots of the adult feeding the juvie too. The second to last photo, with the adult and juvenile, wings spread, is just gorgeous! thank you so much for posting this Tri-colored Heron series. I really enjoyed it!

Appalachian Lady said...

Your photos are fantastic. What a find! I love herons and you were fortunate to observe the mother feeding her young.

The Zen Birdfeeder said...

What a great series! I love his hairdo.

Neil said...

Beautiful series of photos.

BirdingGirl said...

Wow- how exciting to capture this moment! These pictures are great :) I wish we got cool birds like that up here.

The Early Birder said...

Whow Kelly ... I never got to get that close to a Tri-colored. Just love the hair do and those big eyes. FAB.

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone. To take these photos, I was sitting at the top of the hill by the bench. The birds are right there in front of you. I was amazed they decided to nest on our side of the mote. Not that many people visit the place, and those that do seem respectful of the birds and don't get too close, so I guess it all works out. It's a must-see place if you're around Hilton Head in the late spring and early summer.

dAwN said...

Absolutely wonderful! Love these! I am sharing them with my friends on twitter..and I may want to do a blog post linking to this if I may..

Kelly said...

...cool....thanks, Dawn! I love your bird newspaper!!

E said...

Beautiful set of pics, Kelly, great birds and very interesting history. Congrats and hugs.