Snow and below freezing temperatures kept us from Baum Lake (Shasta County CA) in December and most of January. Finally with the mercury hitting the 40s, Leonard and I ventured out to see what was happening at one of our favorite haunts.
I was delighted to see many great blue herons (Ardea herodias) pairing up and beginning to repair or construct nests. This observation is definitely not scientific, however, last year there appeared to be fewer herons nesting as compared to previous seasons. This year the numbers seem to be up again. I wonder if it has anything to do with finally having abundant precipitation after several years of drought?
Male great blue herons collect twigs and branches, which they the present to the female. The female heron constructs or repairs a previously used nest by weaving together the materials collected by the male.
Leonard and I are looking forward to another year of observing the great blue herons raise their families.