A Heron Rookery in the Spring

I didn’t mean to become a birdwatcher. It’s one of the results of long-term marriage, I suppose, the eventual bleed-over of hobbies. Life is easier is you like doing the same things. And if you like to watch birds, you’ll like the springtime. Between migration and nest-building, there’s a lot to watch.

Last weekend Doug and I spent many hours outdoors and discovered two places where herons roost. These are called rookeries. I had always thought of herons as solitary creatures, so was surprised to learn that they cluster their nests together, often along a riverbank. The picture below doesn’t do the birds or the nests justice — those herons are very large and the nests are very high.

Another thing that made watching the herons fun — three teenagers happened along and saw us with binoculars. They asked us what we were looking at. When we pointed to the nests, they were immediately, and appropriately, awestruck. One teen was carrying an actual camera with a telephoto lens, and he was thrilled to take pictures. They sat down on the grass and Doug, who is a Science teacher, conveyed some facts, but even more importantly, his passion for the birds.

I like to think that this moment may have mattered to the young photographer. I’m sure his photos turned out better than mine did, which I snapped with my phone. But you get the gist.

Heron Rookery


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