This week’s great blue heron update from our eye in the sky above Pipeline Rapids, Jim Alexander:
Count is consistently around 70+/-, so we concur with Ralph White’s statement of 70 during the recent Channel 12 coverage.
His account of the nest refurbishing routine is spot on, though we’d add that some males have learned better, and directly “beakoff” (technical speak for handoff) the twig to their mate for fitting the material into the nest.
I measure the river level with the pipeline, and it’s been within a couple of feet of the bottom for days. This level covers most of the smaller islands off of the rookery, making the rookery island the center of ground to nest activity for the heron.
What fish are running? Shad? We’re seeing bazillions of them in the pool under the overlook. Dark top, silver under … maybe 10 to 12 inches, 2 to 4 lbs. They seem to be trying to jump the rocks on the bank of the river. One hapless trekker may have succeeded, and become gull food. The herons seem disinterested in the run up river. I’m thinking they will be much more interested in the result.