Georgia on my mind..
As reported earlier, George, the Yellow Crowned Night Heron has returned. Now also has the lovely Georgia, his mate appeared. So far two mating pair of this species and a juvenile (George Jr.) have been seen at the “Night Heron Hotel” tree next door. George has been an annual visitor as long as I have been on this property. For the first time however, I got to observe some courtship and mating displays. Spring is definitely in the air.
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology describes their courtship behavior as follows; ““Courting Yellow-crowned Night-Herons make display flights around their colonies, sometimes with the neck conspicuously extended. Courting pairs make a neck-stretching display, slowly raising and then quickly pushing the head back between its shoulders, while fanning the long shoulder plumes. Males do this first and females sometimes follow.” Their other favorite pastime this time of year is eating. Crab and other crustaceans are their fare of choice. On the Broward, it is usually blue crab and fiddlers. They will shake the claws off and then swallow them whole. Georgia got a nice blue crab and was not about to share it with George no matter how much he puffed up.
The pale yellow crown, and a white-eye stripe amidst black head feathers are distinctive head markings on this night heron. During the breeding season a long white plume develops on the top of the head also. The large red eyes are specifically designed for “night vision” hunting. I often see them hunting during the daylight also depending on the tides. Between now and mid September expect to see a lot of photographs of this particular couple, as they are one of the primary Broward residents now.
While George may have Georgia on his mind lately, mine has been spinning. The so called “Agreement” with ours and Israel’s enemy is but a harbinger of ill things to come I think. World events are happening so fast now. Most of us just change the channel and ignore it though. What will the next Blood Moon bring I wonder? Fear not though. Be Blessed. Harry