Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Swallows and Warblers and Owl!! Oh My!!

Chilly, damp morning in the rowboat on the swamp....water was higher due to heavy rain this weekend and we decided to just drift.  Swallows have arrived!  I wish we could figure out a way to put up some nest boxes for them as each year there are fewer and fewer standing trees in the swamp.  A lot of activity among the brambly dead fall near the water's edge drew our attention and we were not disappointed; about a dozen Yellow Rumped Warblers!  I thought I had been hearing Warbler song the last few days but hadn't spotted any!  We checked on "Mother Goose" and she is still sitting on the beaver lodge.
  We continued to drift and paddle, making our way toward the heron rookery.  Spotted one sitting in the first nest and watched two adults flying into the woods and back to the lowest nest.
 Saw something odd in one nest and snapped a few photos, figuring we'd see better when we could enlarge it.  My guess was tail feathers or perhaps just parts of the tree branch sticking up through the nest.  Hubby said the heron's must be the culprits taking the neighborhood cats!  As we circled around the nest, it did seem as if the prongs were following us.  Getting closer, we confirmed it was an Owl.  We think a Great Horned Owl.  While it was neat to see, I'm not all that thrilled to find an Owl in a heron nest.

I don't think the herons were all that thrilled either.


  1. Looks like Great Horned Owl.He or she must feel a little out of place in a Heron rookery.

  2. Wow! So much activity at the swamp. How nice to "just drift" :) Just curious....will the owl take over that nest?? If it does what will happen when the heron eggs hatch?

  3. Googling Great Horned Owls and Great Blue Herons, it seems that they frequently nest together. The Owl doesn't build it's own nest and keeps predators at bay. When I look back to an earlier shot of the nests I realize the owl was there and we just didn't realize it. The owl probably has been there since March. Need a better camera.