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 herons 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 breeding 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 Richmond <BR><BR><BR>**************************************<BR> AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at http://www.aol.com.