Daddy duty..

     The sun was just beginning to paint the skyline a diffuse orange glow when I arrived at the Viera Wetlands about 0630 am. There were a few photographers already near the Great Blue Heron nest. I was informed I had just missed the morning handoff and stick ritual. Timing is everything.

     For the past few years I have chronicled stories of Gus and Greta, a Great Blue Heron couple at the Viera Wetlands. These two love birds were back again and already sitting on eggs on a freezing cold morning. I just missed Greta leaving. Gus now had the Daddy Duty. He sure looked cold against that backdrop of the crisp morning sky. A few other Great Blues were also doing their morning vigil waiting for the relative warmth of the sun. At just about 30 degrees, warmth is indeed relative.

     As the sun began to rise, so did Gus. He did his morning “routine” and carefully examined each egg. Hope they don’t freeze! After assuring himself all was well, Gus settled down carefully over the eggs to keep them incubated. In a few weeks, a new little Gus and/or Greta should greet the world. I will try to make it back when I hear they have hatched.

     I captured some images of some other wetland sojourners. Several pair of Anhinga were also nesting in the palms near the Great Blue Heron nest. They too were taking turns sitting on the eggs. The male was still busy bringing sticks to the nest. Another photographer said the Great Blue Herons kept taking their sticks. We watched as one Great Blue brought a stick to another nest and was allowed some morning delight time too. I later saw this other Great Blue (male) Heron land by my jeep and got some close up and personal photos which it did not seem too pleased about. The "look" it gave me put a chill up my already frozen spine.

     A new year has begun at the wetlands and soon the baby birds will be hatched. But elsewhere in the world things are not as cracked up as much as they could be. Perhaps because “Daddy” still has the duty. Let’s hope it stays that way. Blessings. Harry

A cold and lone Great Blue Heron stands morning vigil on the wetlands

After being relieved of " the watch", a Great Blue Heron silhouettes the early morning light

Gus the Great Blue Heron is up early and assumes the watch..

After carefully examine the eggs Gus sits down to incubate them. Daddy has the duty!

A cormorant flies by in the early morning light

A pair of immature Red-shouldered hawks were looking for easy picking too!

Male Anhinga returning to the nesting site..

Male Anhinga brings another stick to the nest.

Female Anhinga taking a break from nest duty

A male Anhinga still sporting breeding eye colors

No trip to the wetlands is complete without a Pied-billed Grebe photo

Great Blue Heron male, this one apparently does not like getting photographed

I get "the Look" you remember your parents with this look too?


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