|These four Great Blue Heron juviniles are almost "fledged" - still time to see them if you hurry!|
A man there on Saturday showed me a photo he had taken a few days ago of a young heron that was on the ground just inside the enclosure. It evidently landed there after having fallen out of its nest. I subsequently spotted two young herons up in a cottonwood tree south of the area, so some have already successfully left the nest.
The herons started building their nests in late March or early April. I counted a total of eleven nests in 5 or 6 cottonwood trees, by the end of April. Initially, it was very easy to see the nests and watch the herons build them, because the leaves were just starting to grow and were not yet large enough to block the view. The nests are large and sometimes appeared precariously placed, but they have managed to stay together and none have fallen down.
Parents feed their young by regurgitation. When a parent arrives back at the nest it's greeted by loud croaking and cackling noises made by the youngsters as they compete for food. According to signs posted at the site, all of the young herons will be fully fledged (able to fend for themselves) by the end of July, so there's still time for folks to go out there and have a look.
The City of Redmond designates the Great Blue Heron as their "Species of Local Importance."
Story and Photos By John Reinke, 6/25/2012
Directions to Marymoor Park: http://binged.it/Me0lUZ