Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Drama at the Rookery

When you are near lakes, rivers and bays, you usually see many birds. That was the case when I recently visited the Venice Rookery located near Venice Florida. This is a noisy place, squawks and shrieks are everywhere and if you look closely, you can see drama at the rookery. 
This appears to be an egret carefully doing some housekeeping, however this is far from what's actually happening. This egret has broken into her next door neighbor's home (nest) and is looking to rob the home of valuable furniture (sticks). I think us humans would call this breaking and entering, and thievery. I wondered what will happen when the great blue heron comes back from a day of fishing? 
It didn't take long for the homeowner to arrive on the scene. The great blue heron was petty angry to find the egret in her nest. A chase ensued and the egret was flogged back to its nest. 
Finally everything is back to normal in the neighborhood, but I don't think these two will be neighborly friends. 

 I was able to capture a nice photo of this ibis flying over the rookery. Checkout its curved beak, the perfect tool for catching its prey.  
The Venice Rookery is an island in the middle of a pond. This picture gives you an idea of the size and numerous nests on the island.
These two egrets are headed out to fish. They will be gone a few hours and will return to feed their chicks. Their mate remained on the nest until they arrive, once back the mate leaves to go fish as the drama at the rookery continues.
Interestingly, my daughter is a college student at Sewanee and is taking an ornithology class. She's majoring in biology and has been memorizing 20 birds a week (Bird name, calls, Latin name, etc..)
Now, when we are outdoors with her, she comments on every bird sighting and sound. I wonder where she got her love of birds? 
Remember, Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream!

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