When the Great Blue Heron chicks start to resemble their parents, I call them “teenagers.” They’re awkward looking, gangly, yet beginning to show the graceful plumage of the adult.
As you can see, this nest was conveniently located near the boardwalk at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Boynton Beach, Florida. These birds court, mate, build nests, feed chicks, and fledge with binoculars and lenses recording it all.
Often one or more chicks do not make it to this stage. They may be crowded out by more aggressive siblings, or fall in the water below where alligators hope for an easy meal.
This pair is a bit younger, as you can tell from the feather quills and remaining downy covering.
Even adult great blue herons can become a meal for a large alligator. Young ones in particular haven’t learned to watch out for hidden danger yet.
Like mother, like daughter. (Or father-son, not sure which.)
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Original hand-painted BW photographs for sale: Etsy
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Contact: cindy at cindymcintyre.com