Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yellow Crowned Night Heron Babies

Just got back from one of the best bike rides of my life. Not that the cycling itself was that great (those hills still kill me) but the nature lovers were out in full force and I felt as if I had stepped onto the set of some David Attenborough documentary and any moment he'd jump out from behind a bush and say, "Let's take a look."

The most exciting view of the day was brought to my attention by CS, a woman who has been photographing a very active nest of Yellow Crowned Night Herons alongside the creek all month. The babies have hatched and are growing into robust little birds. You can actually stand at the creek side, very close to one of its more travelled spots near the road, and watch the babies being fed by mom and dad. She told me one of the coolest things was that these little big birds were already flexing their crowns, even though they were only about three weeks old. I could have easily stood there all day watching with CS, but had to fly back to get some work done.

Very cool. I urged CS to post her photos to the Friends of Sligo Creek website. If she does I'll make a link. I snapped her photo.... my crappy little camera doesn't do the nest justice but at least you can get the idea of how close this nest was to the trail. Amazingly, five babies seem to be in there.

Also, came upon a nice dad and son who had discovered the wonderful barn swallows out under the Beltway bridge near Forest Glen. I have a story about those same birds coming out in a couple of days in the Voice; when that's published I'll make the link to that one, too.

In the meantime, enjoy the day. Hope you get out there to see the sights, too.

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