March 8, 2014
The Great Blue Herons at the nest tree hide in plain sight, not 50 yards from Amnicola Highway. In January, they were already investigating the old nests. Perhaps they rearranged the sticks and added a few. Wind and snow knocked down their nests.
A trip to Brainerd Levee revealed the same results. The heron nests were gone.
In previously years, a Great Horned Owl had appropriated one of the nests. I have seen her there with two nestlings. This year, no owl resides at the levee. She certainly laid eggs in mid-January, but this happened at another place, or perhaps she nested at the levee, only to see the nest destroyed. When a clutch is gone early in the season, the bird may lay a second batch of eggs, but not always.
February revealed no nesting behavior at either location, but on March 1, I led a trip to the levee and saw four herons investigating the real estate across South Chickamauga Creek. They seemed unperturbed by the silver gas hawks taking off and landing. One pair had begun assembling a nest.
On March 8m the nests near Amnicola Highway were rebuilt. I counted ten Herons in the large tree. One pair looked skyward, with necks an beaks fully extended. They lowered their heads and one flew off to the West. Another bird flew in from the east and landed on a branch.
Birds on Bare Branches
Wind and snow knocked down the House
Today they rebuild