Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Elbow Room

More from the photo files of 17 July 2009 . . .

After taking some time to photograph a pair of fledgling sapsuckers and a fledgie Great Crested Flycatcher, displayed in yesterday's post, I finally made it to the shore of the pond, my initial goal. Now I could spend some time shooting images of the still-occupied heron nest. They're awfully big, you'd think too large to all fit into the nest.

Nestling Great Blue HeronsAll four juvenile herons are still living at home.

But they do still fit. I'm told that earlier in the week, when storms were passing through with some high winds, they hunkered down while one of the adults crouched on top of them, shielding them from the weather. I kept thinking of some old commercial where the mechanic, holding some monstrosity of a muffler, assures the unbelieving customer, "we'll make it fit."

Nestling Great Blue HeronsI get mixed messages from this pose. Some seem so bored they
just sit and stare at one another, others turn their back.
I assume because they're sick of each other.

Reina and I have been watching some Schoolhouse Rock videos on YouTube. If you remember them, they're some of the catchiest tunes around. As my mind is wont to do I started humming one as I watched them stretch and flap their wings, bobbling around one another:

One thing you will discover
When you get next to one another
Is everybody needs some elbow room, elbow room.

It's nice when you're kinda cozy, but
Not when you're tangled nose to nosey, oh,
Everybody needs some elbow, needs a little elbow room.

(Author's note: It's worth watching so it'll be stuck in your head, too. Damn you, catchy songwriters!)

Seems apropos, especially when they exercise their wings. There's not much room to really stretch without whacking a brother or sister, and they often seem to tangle their nosey-noseys.

Nestling Great Blue Herons
I'm hoping for a huge coincidence, that one of my irregular walks will coincide with one of the birds leaving the nest for the first time. Really leaving the nest, a full-blown launch off the platform to fly to parts unknown. Or at least to gracefully soar to the pond's edge. Or, more likely and more fun to photograph, clumsily bomb their way to the earth's surface.

Nestling Great Blue Herons
There was a false alarm on Monday, 13 July. I was catching up on my work email and I came across two posts announcing one bird had fledged. Turns out the bird had left the nest, fluttered to a different branch or two, but then return to the nest a little while later.

I know it's a tough economy, but c'mon, kids! At one point you gotta strike out on your own!

For more images, and more impressive images, check out Laura Erickson's Flickr site. Laura occasionally posts about the heron family, too.



jan m said...

I had a Schoolhouse Rock song in my head the other day, and I haven't seen an episode since the '70s! They are infectious.
Thanks for the update on the herons. They looked pretty crowded up there when we saw them ten days ago.

nishiki_85 said...

Just by reading your post I now have Interplanet Janet and countless others going through my head. Yes, the American airwaves filled young impressionable Canadian minds as well. Did they have one for the War of 1812 or did the CBC cover that one?

noflickster said...

@jan_m - I'm rediscovering the brilliance of Schoolhouse Rock with Reina, I figure at 5 she's ready to learn about nouns, verbs, three being a magic number, the preamble to the constitution, etc. And I need a refresher on how a bill becomes a law!

I was amazed the bird were still in the nest when we returned from vacation 10 days ago, I thought they'd have ventured forth by then. Hopefully I'll have a departing shot to share when it happens!

@nishiki_85 - it's amazing how those songs are so easily resurrected, isn't it? And this explains why Canadians are so well versed on our political system!

I don't remember a specific War of 1812 tune, but I'd be surprised if they didn't cover it, they seem to have covered everything else! I'll re-comment if Reina and I stumble across one in the future.

Thanks for dropping by!

dAwN said...

First time I have heard that Schoolhouse rock song..cute!
Hee hee..that nest is a bit small for that gang. Hope you get to see the first flight!
Happy birding!

Anonymous said...

ah such nice pictures!

noflickster said...

@dAwN - I'm not sure that song was in heavy rotation, like "Conjunction Junction," "Interjection." or "Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here." I only vaguely remembered it, but boy has it been stuck in my head!

@Ecesis Factor - thank you; btw, I love your flicker avatar!


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