[TN-Bird] Trip into the Macedonia Bottoms Heronry, Gibson County

  • From: "Mark Greene" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "greenesnake@xxxxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: TN-Birds Bird <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2014 08:18:43 -0700

July 17, 2014
Macedonia Bottoms Heronry
Western Gibson County

I got permission from the landowner and Eugene Stephens and I took a boat into 
the heron & egret nesting colony in the Macedonia Bottoms in western Gibson 
County yesterday afternoon. As we were putting our boat in the water, I 
immediately noticed three Anhingas and four Double-crested Cormorants sitting 
in a tree. As we went into the area where we could see better, I was surprised 
at the number of Anhingas that we saw. The following is a rough estimate of 
numbers in the colony:

Anhinga - we had sixteen birds! We had at least 4 adult males, and 6 adult 
females. The remainder of the birds were juveniles. We did not see any birds in 
any of the nests but several looked like they were recently fledged and one of 
the birds still had down feathers, was unable to fly and looked like it had 
very recently crawled out of the nest.

Double-crested Cormorant - We had at least 10 adults and 5 juveniles around the 
colony - none were seen in nests.

Great Blue Heron - still quite a few birds in and around the nests and all the 
young birds we saw were the size of the adults.

Great Egret - same as for the Great Blues, still several large young sitting in 
and near nests.

Little Blue Heron - saw one flying over the colony but none in or around. I do 
not think they nested here.

Green Heron - we had eight birds, including 5 in one tree. They were off to 
themselves, away from the main nesting colony. They were in some smaller, 
thicker trees. They may have nested in the outskirts of the colony but we saw 
no nests.

All the nests were in Baldcypress trees. At this late date, there were many 
empty nests. Probably only about 30% were still occupied. There are at least 
200 total nests in the colony. We did not do an exact count as we did not want 
to get too close and disturb the birds. We stayed well away from the colony in 
a boat and tried to look from a safe distance. This made it very difficult to 
see all the nests with the foliage on the trees. At this time there seemed to 
be more Great Egrets than Great Blue Herons, maybe 60-70% Great Egrets.

On the way back to Eugene's house a Lark Sparrow flew up from beside the road 
on Midway 25 Road, west of Dyer.

Good birding,

Mark Greene
Trenton, TN
Gibson County

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