Unfortunate News, Followed by Good News
This week I took my family and some volunteers to see the Black Oystercatcher (BLOY) pair at Natural Bridges State Beach. I explained to them what behaviors they were viewing, as well as other fun facts about BLOYs – such as how they mate for life and the way to tell males and females apart. We had noticed that the BLOY were no longer incubating, which means the chicks had hatched (or something happened to the eggs). We also noticed cones and caution tape about 20 feet from the nesting rock. Unfortunately, we saw no chicks, and were told that one of them had fallen onto the beach.
To end up on a lighter note, we walked into Natural Bridges and along the Monarch trail, and I lead them on a practice bird walk where I was the leader. We saw many songbirds and other birds, but when I asked them what their favorite bird was during the walk most of them said the Green Herons. While walking slowly next to a pond, we heard a female Green Heron and as we sat for about 20-30 minutes we discovered that there were at least four living in the area! It was enjoyable watching them because they seemed to be playing around with each other and chasing each other, as well as taking breaks to feed. I was also able to get a picture of one of them puffing up the feathers on its head (raising and lowering the crest); it was such an amazing sight to see.