[Tweeters] GBHE nest on UW Campus

Brett Wolfe m_lincolnii at yahoo.com
Thu May 22 23:50:29 PDT 2008

Hi tweets,

I was in my Ethnobiology class today and we took a field trip for the 2nd half of the class to the medicinal herb garden there. As I was listening to the docent who was leading the tour, I started hearing an odd "wack-wack-wack, wack-wack-wack-wack, wack-wack-wack..." sound. At first I thought it was some kind of machinery, then maybe an agitated duck, and then I didn't know what. It would get louder and quieter but was definitely now not made by humans. Hmmm. As the class ended, I immediately wandered towards the sound, determined to figure out what it was. I quickly realized that the sound wasn't low, but was high up in the trees. Too much mid-story, I stepped out from the forest and into the grassy sward south of Drumheller Fountain and looked up into the trees. There! A nest. As I backed up to get a view inside the nest (I didn't have my binoculars), I finally got a good look and realized I was looking at the hunched backside of a Great Blue Heron at its nest!

As I watched for about 10-15 minutes, I counted 3 large chicks walking around and flapping their nearly featherless wings. I really wished I had had my bins, but it was a class day. Anyway, I saw the 2nd adult come swooping in and the babies come mobbing it as the other adult stepped away and flew off.

I had been wondering where some of the GBHE's were nesting, because I still see so many of them at the Union Bay Natural Area just down the hill. Well now I know where one pair is, and they have 3 healthy looking kids! Never did figure out whether it was the kids or the parents making the "wack-wack-wack..." noises, but I think it was the kids. Anyone else know?

Brett A. Wolfe
Seattle, WA
m_lincolnii at yahoo.com

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