HALIFAX RIVER AUDUBON
A Florida Chapter of the National Audubon Society
Serving greater Daytona Beach area
Founded 1923

 

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May 5, 2015:  Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias, is the largest heron in North America.  Most often seen as a silent sentinel along inland rivers or lake shores, they abandon their solitary habits during nesting season, often breeding in colonies with other wading birds.  The male chooses the nest site and begins his courtship display--stretching his neck and pointing his bill skyward, flying in circles over the nest with his neck extended and stretching his neck forward with head and neck feathers erect and snapping his bill--in hope of attracting a mate. 

Steve Blackledge won First Place in the Palm Coast Photo Club contest with this shot.  Nesting sites are highly variable, from atop palm trees 20-60 feet high to low shrubs or on the ground in predator-free islands.  The male gathers most of the nest material which is arranged primarily by the female.  Generally 3-5 pale blue eggs are laid and incubated by both parents for 25-30 days.  Both parents feed the young by regurgitation.  About 60 days after hatching, the young are capable of flight.  They leave the nest at 65-90 days  of age. 

Great Blue Herons are year-round residents in roughly the southern half of the US and everywhere in the northern US and into Canada during the summer. 

 
Share the beach w/nesting birds; tips from Nat'l Aud. How to remove fishing line from a hooked bird
For deeply embedded or swallowed hooks, or injuries to wings and legs call:
Marine Science Center(386) 304-5530, After Hours 386-561-0624

Tips for Better Wildlife Photography

Protect Florida's Forage Fish

Volunteer to restore oyster beds Report Invasive Species via Audubon Smartphone App

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