The nest tree near the community college still held several herons quietly waiting for spring. Four solitary birds tended nests with preening and rearrangement of sticks. A fifth tended a nest while another watched from above.
A bird flew in and joined one of the other watchers. It frequently opened the mandibles and nodded the beak, both opened and closed. The nest watcher extended its beak and tapped the other’s shoulder. The bird responded by partly extending, and then shaking its wings. The narrow feathers on the neck of each stood out, plainly visible.
The other pair touched beak tips to shoulders repeatedly. The one above climbed down to the nest and the other flew off. I don’t know if it went in search of food or more nest material.
The first pair stretched beaks skyward, fluttered wings, and fastidiously rearranged the sticks of their nest. I noticed odd sounds I had not heard herons make before.
Put feathers in place
Touch mate on shoulder, calling
Search for perfect sticks