Last February our family watched in awe as something of a wildlife drama unfolded in our own backyard. Several large, somewhat prehistoric looking birds, Great Blue Herons, began hanging out in the trees on the Northeast tip of Pigeon Point. Three pair decided to stay and became our great curiosity for the next several months.
We watched as the herons busily picked dead ivy twigs off the trees, occasionally even from our yard, and fashioned them in to three large nests. We waited with the birds as one sat on the nest and the other routinely brought food back to its mate. We were thrilled to eventually count a total of a dozen fuzzy chicks hatched. We loved listening to them “quacking” for the food delivered and fed to them by a parent. Of course our drama was not without tragedy as we saw one feeble chick pushed out of a nest to make room for its heartier siblings, and another weak chick die when its vigorous siblings got all the food. The chicks grew, lost their fluff, tested their wings, and squabbled loudly for space. Eventually of course, they learned to fly and at the end of August we became empty nesters. Literally.
One morning a couple of weeks ago, I looked out the window and squealed at the sight of 10 herons gliding in and landing on the same trees. They have been circling around and perching in the trees, and 3 pair have staked claim on the three nests. We are thankful for this place and look forward to witnessing another season of heron adventure.
If you would like to check out these amazing birds, you may be able to view them from the east (dead) end of Charlestown Ave before the leaves come in, or by walking the stairs located there that connect with East Marginal Way.