or at the very least he’s double dating!!
This, this is how I see Harold 99% of the time. The other one percent has been in the spring, when, to borrow a word from Thumper on Bambi, he’s “twitterpated.” Yes, like all animals this time of year, Harold, too, goes searching for true love. He has found it in none other than Henrietta, of course. Unfortunately, it is so rare, and he only does a quick fly-by…..kind of like a person trying to avoid nosy neighbors…that I have yet to get a picture of them together.
Imagine my surprise, when sipping coffee on my porch this week, (coffee and bird sightings seem to go hand in hand) I looked up to see Harold, and three other Blue Herons flying overhead! My mouth dropped open in shock and I said to my son, “Harold’s joined a gang!” Harold is usually such a loner, except for the rare sightings of him with Henrietta, that I had to get to the bottom of this.
After some googling, don’t I love google, I found out that Herons nest in colonies called a herony, also less specifically called a rookery, which may contains more than one species of colonizing birds. The birds build nests usually up in the tree-tops, but will also nest on the ground or low lying structures close to their food source. The colonies can be small or large, depending on the area; Harold’s “gang” is obviously quite small.
Unlike geese, heron usually choose new mates each year….poor Henrietta. The males arrive at the nest first and “woo” passing female herons. After quite the elaborate courtship ritual, the male may then present the female with a stick with which to add to or begin the new nest.
Well, there you have it! The mystery of Harold’s gang is solved, and I’ve learned a few more interesting facts about my wonderful, grouchy, lovable neighbor!