In this case, I was hoping for something a little more than what I knew and what I got was packed with exciting information about another species that lives near the water in east Tennessee and now thrives, despite the fact that it once was rapidly disappearing. The heron above seems to have landed on an empty nest. But nestled down in its center is his mate who soon rose up to greet him and received the fresh twig.
Below, another heron flies toward the lower level braces where he has positioned his nest. You can see his mate waiting expectantly for his arrival. As you move through the photos notice how the pair greet each other, erect their plumes and stretch their necks to display their plumage, a ritual that helps anchor their pair bond.
When I looked at these images, I saw what none of us could see in the few minutes it took to pass the rookery. That this moment was captured frame by frame in a time that spanned less than 60 seconds makes me feel even more privileged. It was one of those gifts of place and time that nature sometimes hands us unexpectedly. In fact, my whole experience on the cruise seemed to be like that.
While we wait a bit longer for the human version of spring to arrive, there is plenty of evidence in Tennessee’s bird community that spring is already underway.
To see the entire Blue Moon Cruise series click here.
Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #29 at Birdfreak.com in support of the conservation of our world's birds.