Jul 10 2009


Published by at 7:00 am under Nesting & Courtship,Water and Shore

Tricolored Heron nestling (photo by Kim Steininger)That's a pretty good translation of what this bird is saying.

He's 5-11 days old and spends a lot of time shouting for food.

His noise would be a life-threatening disadvantage except that his nest is part of a community, so even if his parents are away collecting food there are other adults around to keep the colony safe.

At this age he looks wild and crazy.  His juvenile pin feathers are tipped with white down and his head is covered with rusty feathers.  At 24 days he'll look a little less crazy and be walking so well that he won't stay in his nest at all.  At that point he'll be a few days away from fledging - and he'll still be shouting.

Fledging doesn't shut him up.  He has to learn how to feed himself and will be almost 60 days old before he can do that on his own.  Two and a half months from egg to independence is a long time in the bird world.  Compare that to 25 days for a robin and his parents' commitment is truly amazing.

So what bird is this?  He's a tricolored heron.

You won't see this chick in Pennsylvania - they nest in Florida and along the Gulf Coast - but after the breeding season some birds fly north as far as Canada.  Tricolored herons hunt small fish by stealth so they have to leave before the ice comes.

Pennsylvania is just a lark for a kid like him.  Yo!

(photo by Kim Steininger)

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Yo!”

  1. Kristenon 10 Jul 2009 at 11:53 am

    Oh man! And we though the peregrene chicks had some bad hair days! {wicked grin}

  2. Bonnie Jeanneon 10 Jul 2009 at 12:11 pm

    He looks like he could stand in for a muppet on Sesame Street!

  3. Jon 10 Jul 2009 at 1:18 pm

    LOL. That picture certainly gave me a chuckle. He looks like he was playing with one of those static electricity demonstrations you see at some amusement parks. The ones that are the glass globes with electricity inside them and when you put your hands on it, it makes your hair stand up on end (assuming you have long hair).

  4. Hollyon 10 Jul 2009 at 3:49 pm

    he’s so ugly he’s cute!

  5. faith Cornellon 10 Jul 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Oh beautiful Mother Nature!! Different standards I suppose. Just enjoyment for sure. Faith C.

  6. Lorraineon 18 Feb 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I’m so enjoying watching all this wildlife while being snowed in in Greensburg. I have a comment to make about the tri-colored heron. It looks a lot like me when I get up in the morning. My hair is the same color and I have the same color eyes. Unfortunately I’m already mature (wwaayy mature) so I’ll never look like the beautiful adults. Thanks for all the wonder news and enjoy Florida.

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