This heron update lacks news of the two pairs (Stanley and Stella, and Sam and Serena) I had followed when the branches were free of leaves and the nests easy to see. I've been three times in the past week, once driven by Bill (thank you!), and twice for quick stops on my way home from school. I am certain that Stanley and Stella have chicks, but am still not sure how many. The only clear shot in three days was of this adult. It sat for a long time at the very top of a tree, surveying its world.
Then, it looked up...
...flapped its wings, and left. I'm wondering if it was a juvenile, hanging around its old home, and reminiscing about the good old days. It didn't appear to be taking care of any young. The ones with kids are working like crazy, mom looking after them in the nest, and dad flying in and out with food and the occasional bit of nesting material. I wonder if it could have been Sam. I've looked for Sam and Serena's nest, and if it's there, it is too well hidden by foliage to identify.
As for chicks, the struggle for survival is intense. When food arrives, they squawk and bicker and are sometimes downright abusive. Pictures are poor, but if you click on them, you can make out some of the action.
The picture below is the most dramatic. The fellow at the bottom left is being attacked by the one above. A man who was watching them told me that he saw one fall last week. There is a phone number to call, and the good people who follow their progress regularly will come and try to rescue them if possible, but it's generally not a great prognosis for the young ones on the ground. The chicks I could see were surprisingly big. Soon, the only way to tell them from their parents will be when they stand on the end of a branch and flap and flap, building strength for eventual flight. I will continue to stop by and will post any new or interesting developments that I can catch with my camera.