On the trip to work yesterday, my favorite sign was up, well maybe it is always up and I just notice it at this time of year. From noticing the sign, I recalled last year in spring the air was filled with Great Blue Heron as they have a nesting colony at that location. I looked up to the bare tree tops and was surprised by how many, now vacant, nests were there. Once the leaves start appearing, you never see the nests.
The Great Blue Heron returns to the same site each year to nest. The males arrive first and stake out a tree whereby they will either restructure a nest or build a new nest. They put on a grand display to the females flying by, shrieking loudly until a mate is chosen. Once mates are picked, the nest building begins with the males gathering materials and the female placing them. The nests are usually a meter wide and 10 cm deep and take no more than a week to build. Once they are ready, 3 – 5 eggs will be laid to incubate, usually in April, and both parents incubate the eggs. Incubation takes 28 days, after that both parents take turns feeding and caring for the young hatchlings.
I have been noticing nests in trees since the leaves have fallen. I attributed my fascination to them to last spring when a lone nest was in a barren tree outside of work and a pair of crows took to disassemble it, flying 25 yards and creating their nest in an evergreen tree. I was fascinated for days by the progress of the nest carefully being taken apart. I would have loved to see the nest they were building, but the foliage was too thick to see through.
I will have to find a place where I can sit quietly and watch these majestic birds, the great blue Heron, and perhaps hear the shrieking sounds, as they pair off and build or refurbish their nests.
Soon, humans will be itching to clean up, clear out and freshen up with the spring winds. There will be flowers to plant and in our own way shriek to all who pass by, look at my home! Come visit my flowers, shrubs and trees. Come sit awhile and share your dreams. Soon spring will be here, we are almost at the half way mark and the signs are showing up… watch for them, take heart that soon, quicker than you expect spring will be sprung in her full glory. Dream of the new blessings you will bring into your life, what will you refurbish, recycle or renew?
Always thinking, always observing, always wondering and pondering the things that make life go round.