Gus & Greta..a Great Blue Love Story
In early December I participated in a workshop at the Viera Wetlands and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. While at the wetlands I noticed a Great Blue Heron was camped out on a nice nesting site on top of the perfect palm tree. This Great Blue Heron had the location, location, and location. He begins to call for a mate to come join him. We will call him Gus. Gus was new to this courtship thing apparently and his approach and throaty call was not too successful. Not one pretty female would join him. Fast forward to 21 January when I visited the Wetlands again. There was ole Gus giving it all he had by this time. I mean look at the stretch in those vocal cords and the neck display. But Gus was still a very lonely Great Blue Heron. But he must have hit the right note with someone.
The following morning I returned to the Wetlands and there was ole Gus all right. Perched next to him was a drop dead beautiful female Great Blue “Heroness”. Let’s call her Greta. In the human world, some courtships begin with a look, followed by a date, then the courting, followed by engagement, and then marriage. Then the couple buys a home or as some would say, “build a nest” together. This process can take from months to years. It moves a bit faster than that in the bird world. It has to because they don’t live as long as we humans for the most part. From “the look", to nest building can happen in an hour or so. The male must demonstrate the ability to fetch a stick for a nest that has to be just the right stick. Not too big. Not too small. Just right. Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. I have about a thousand pictures I went through to say just a few words. Gus got lucky.
Gus must have gotten it right because Greta seemed thrilled with his selections. The rest is shall we say, bird history, I hope. I think we can safely say this is the start of the next Great Blue Heron generation for Gus and Greta. The entire staff of Reflections hopes you a had a Happy Valentines this week with your loved one. If your loved one was not there, perhaps they are just somewhere else getting a new nest prepared just for you. Be Blessed. Harry