[va-richmond-general] Short Pump - Great Blue Heron Nests

  • From: LORIRUTLEDGE8@xxxxxxx
  • To: va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 23:07:01 EST

Late this  afternoon while in Short Pump, I stopped at a pond (water 
containment area)  behind the Home Deport on West Broad  Street. 
There  were: 
Canada Goose:  30+ 
Hooded Merganser: 4 (2  females; 2 males) 
Red-Winged Black Bird:  60+ (the flock put on a nice show as they swooped 
over the pond several times  and then taking time to perch in the trees) 
European Starling:  12 
Northern Cardinal:  2 
Great Blue Heron  Nests:  2 large nests.  Each nest had a pair of great blue  
Looking across the  pond, the nests are in the top of the trees that are 
located in the middle of  the exit loop of I-64 to I-295.   Despite all the 
development and traffic in the area, these birds are  returning to their 
area. Go birds!!! 
Last year, there were  about five nests.  It is possible,  that the other 
nests have been blown down by the wind.  It is early in the breeding season  
(March to May) so I am crossing my fingers that the colony will expand as more  
great blue herons return to breed. 
What I have  read: Females  lay between 2 and 7 pale blue eggs.  Both parents 
incubate the eggs until they hatch. The eggs hatch after 26  to 30 days of 
incubation.  Both  parents care for and feed the chicks until they are ready to 
leave the nest.  After living in the nest for about  2 months, the chicks are 
ready to fledge. 
So,  if you are out and about in the far west end, get out of the traffic and 
treat  your self to a bit of nature.  Take  your binoculars or better yet 
your scope.  The parents and chicks should be there for you to enjoy!   
Lori  Rutledge 

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