Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Washington Square Nest Has a Second Hatch and the Cornell Lab's Great Blue Heron Cam

          Courtesy of

The first Washington Square Park eyass is begging while the second egg is pipping while likely first time mother Rosie looks on.  Later in the day the second egg hatched.

Note the paper plates lining the nest.  Most bowls of Red-tail nests are lined with bark and dry grass.  But when you think about it, Washington Square Park isn't the hugest green space in the world for bark choice, and paper plates are actually manufactured thin pieces of wood.  Hey, why struggle with stripping thin pieces of bark off trees when paper plates are ready made and handy for the taking?

Ah, the ever ingenious urban Red-tail!
                                                    Courtesy of
 Note the curled talons so often seen on Red-tailed Hawk nests.  A protective habit to minimize the possibility of puncturing eggs or eyasses.  

The Cornell Lab Blue Heron Nest Cam
An added bonus of this cam is the wonderful fidelity plus it also includes sound.

One used to be able to tell the difference between the male and the female Great Blue Heron because the male was missing a toe-a permanent anomaly.  Currently it is even easier to tell who is who because the female lost her nuptial plumes to likely a Great Horned Owl, somebody at 4 in the morning has attacked her twice now at any rate, so the sitting bird can be identified right off by the temporary anomoly.  

The Fourth Egg Arrives-check out the contractions.

An owl attacks Mama Heron on the nest (She lost her nuptial plumes but still appears completely fine and monumentally angry!) 

No, the attacking owl was not after the eggs.  It turns out Owls aren't partial to eggs.  The theory is that the anti-egg bias of owls is likely due to the mess that occurs when a flat faced bird attempts egg eating.  The attacker was likely after the mother for a meal.  Not to worry this girl is one tough cookie.

This link is actually for the younger set explaining brood patches in various species of birds.  I'm listing it for you take a look at the photo of the brood patch on a Chickadee. The whole anterior of the bird is bald when the exterior feathers are blown back.  I'd no idea that the clutch of a Chickadee was so large!  Check it out.

No comments: