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Great Blue Heron Ingenuity

I had to laugh this morning about what I witnessed just after posting about male Great Blue Herons collecting and delivering sticks for their nest. It occurred to me that I have seen hundreds of sticks being brought to nests, but I have never actually seen a heron in the act of collecting a stick. Lo and behold, today was my lucky day. At least one heron came up with an extremely efficient and energy-saving strategy for accomplishing this task.

Being largely fish eaters, herons typically raise their young in wetlands where food is plentiful. Many of these wetlands are created by beavers, who set up housekeeping there as well. Herons owe not only their habitat to beavers, but also, in this case, their nesting material. A veritable goldmine of sticks is right underneath the heron nests, free for the taking right in the middle of the heron rookery in the form of a beaver lodge. Fortunately for the beavers, there is a limit to the size of the stick a heron can carry.

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7 responses

  1. Bill on the Hill

    Now that I call practicality… Build the nest directly above the source of material used…
    Smart bird methinks…
    Bill… :~)

    April 22, 2022 at 11:14 am

  2. Dianne Rochford

    What a great happening!! 🙂 🙂

    :-), Dianne Dianne Rochford (she, her, hers) Why Pronouns Matter


    April 22, 2022 at 11:28 am

  3. Jo-Ann Ecker

    This is great thank you

    April 22, 2022 at 12:32 pm

  4. jdkramer


    Can’t document it with photos, but I’ve seen great blues in the Fells Reservation in Mass. breaking dead branches off of trees.

    Thanks for your great work. Will donate!


    April 22, 2022 at 1:18 pm

  5. Alice

    A fortunate coincidence.

    April 22, 2022 at 4:43 pm

  6. pam Kerstner

    WOW it makes perfect sense just never gave it any thought, great capture.

    April 22, 2022 at 4:56 pm

  7. Lynne Hadley

    Yikes! Sorry to bother you, Mary….but I cannot find the other recent Blue Heron picture, wing outspread and neck so long. Is there any chance you could send that again to me? Wow, what a picture! thanks for your work,

    Lynne Hadley, M.Ed. Lifeworks :: PO Box 265, Tunbridge, VT 05077 (802) 889-3383 private VM only (802) 822-0879

    May 5, 2022 at 6:24 pm

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