TexasEscapes.com 
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine
Texas Towns by Region
  • Texas Hill Country
  • Central Texas North
  • Central Texas South
  • South Texas
  • East Texas
  • West Texas
  • Texas Panhandle
  • Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Towns A - Z
    Over 2700 Towns

    Texas Ghost Towns
    Over 700 Ghost Towns

    Book Hotels
  • Rockport Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Rockport, Texas
    Book Here


    Fulton Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Fulton, Texas
    Book Here


    Port Aransas Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Port Aransas, Texas
    Book Here
    Texas | Animals

    THE HERON'S NEST

    by Ken Rudine
    It was mid afternoon when we reached our destination during this last full week of March 2012. As per usual upon our arrival in Rockport/Fulton we re-fill our gas tank. This ritual is a precaution rather than any of the usual considerations of when to purchase gas. While pumping the gas at a HEB on Hwy 35N we noticed the bird activity across the street. The shuttle of birds back and forth overhead was immediately recognized as herons mating and building nests. We realized this was an ideal location to photograph this event. (Photos)
    Rockport TX - Blue Heron
    Nesting Heron in Flight
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012

    Knowing how frantic bird activity can be near sundown we hurried to our bay house and unloaded. Back to our gas station to photograph the activity I set up my equipment for an hour or more shoot. For that I use a battery powered inverter to connect to my camera’s ac power supply. A continuous supply of power allows you to concentrate on photography without worry that the camera would time out.

    The nests are in the very top of these 70 foot tall trees. This makes selecting the magnification of the lens simply the same for the nest and incoming bird altitude. I choose a shutter speed of 1/2000 and let the camera choose the aperture for proper exposure. These selections make interesting flying heron photos relatively easy.

    We shot photos until I saw the red light of sundown say –“Enough”. The only unexpected events were the people who walk up and either wants to ask what is happening or to tell you facts they know. Most people want to know what kind of bird this is, but one person wanted to tell us the herons have nested in these trees for three years now.

    We had tried to photograph nesting herons at Paradise Pond at Port Aransas maybe five years ago. This was one of the last years that the Pond had water in it. We don’t know what has caused the Pond water to dry up. The visitor’s board walkway was level with the bird nests at Paradise Pond, but the lighting made good photos difficult. Frankly I have never got a heron photo worthy of publishing at this site which is only about 10 flying miles from Rockport. But if it is dragonflies and turtles you are interested in – this WAS the place. But without water there is little of interest.

    Nests are of interest to other birds such as sea gulls and hawks which can be circling overhead. They look for opportunities to rob eggs or take other advantage. All this heron activity is relatively quiet. Only a few squawks are heard when some discord occurs. Just because a male bird brings nest building material does not mean the female bird will accept it. In that case the male does not just drop the material. Often I have seen them approach other nests which usually reject him and the material too.

    A typical heron stands four feet high with a six foot wing span. When they land in the top of a pine tree folding their wings looks as awkward as a person folding an umbrella getting in a car. Here the nest building material comes from inland. The female bird also needs to be fed since they will not leave the nest. Food in this case would come from Little Bay. Once the egg(s) are in the nest one of the birds will sit on the nest to protect the eggs continuously.

    Texas heron - Flight with the neck in an “S” curve
    Flight with the neck in an “S” curve
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas heron - Flight with the neck straight
    Flight with the neck straight
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas heron - Flight with the neck modified for nest material
    Flight with the neck modified for nest material
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas heron - Flight with the neck in the conventional fold
    Flight with the neck in the conventional fold
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas heron - Breeding pair in nest
    Breeding pair in nest
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas heron - nesting
    Egg fertilizing while billing and cooing
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas heron nesting profile
    Nesting Profile View
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas heron nesting
    Nesting Frontal View
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas heron in folding wings
    Folding wings can look awkward
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas heron folding wings
    Folding wings can look graceful
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas heron home to nest
    OK to land?
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas herons nesting
    Why are you late?
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    Texas heron nesting
    A semi-rarely used signal
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2012
    April 17, 2012
    Copyright Ken Rudine

    More Traveling Team Rudine
    Related Topics: Texas Birds | Texas Animals | Texas |
    Bird Watching in Texas? Book Hotel Here:
    Rockport Hotels | Fulton Hotels | Port Aransas Hotels

    Related Topics:
    TE Online Magazine | Columns | Features | Texas Towns | Texas |

    Custom Search
    Book Hotel Here - Expedia Affiliate Network

    CITY SEARCH


    Rockport Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Rockport, Texas
    Book Now


    Fulton Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Fulton, Texas
    Book Now


    Port Aransas Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Port Aransas, Texas
    Book Now
    TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
    HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
    TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

    Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
    TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

    Texas Attractions
    TEXAS FEATURES
    People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
    COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

    TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
    Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
    Vintage Photos

    TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

    Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
    Website Content Copyright ©1998-2011. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved