Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Secret Lives of Great Blue Herons

Today the Cornell Lab of Ornithology put another live BirdCam online. This one peeks into the nest of Great Blue Herons. Folks at the Lab can see the nest from their staff lounge – and now, thanks to nest camera technology, we can too.

According to the Lab of O folks, the herons started building this nest in 2009. This year they returned to the nest in mid-March and soon began courting: bringing twigs, standing side by side in the nest, clattering their bills, and nipping at each other.

Last night at around 7:30 p.m., the heron laid her first egg. Great Blue Herons typically lay eggs every two days, sometimes three, until the clutch is complete. After that it will be 25–30 days before the chicks hatch, and they will spend another 7–8 weeks in the nest before they fledge.

To get good views of these large birds, the Lab of O installed two cameras, one from above the nest and the other at nest level. My BirdCam button links to the site where you'll find tabs for each nest. Soon there will be a whole egg carton full of nest cams to view. Have fun.


  1. Totally cool!! I'm going tokeep track. Never seen a heron nest up close before. There's a heron that visits my pond all summer. They are incredible creatures. Thanks for the link!

  2. I love Great Blue Herons (having grown up in Michigan), but I've never seen their nests. Great post!