Good Morning, Sunshine!

Sunrise over the Cimarron Range in Ridgway, Colorado

Sunrise over the Cimarron Range in Ridgway, Colorado

Great Blue Herons – Nesting Colony

On Cow Creek just north of Ridgway, Colorado, there is a stand of cottonwood trees that are dotted with large nests. This is the seasonal nesting colony for the great blue herons that migrate to Ridgway. There are herons that stay here year-round, but come early March these nests begin to fill up with males trying to attract a mate. It’s been really interesting to observe them and their habits the past couple of years. A male heron will choose an empty nest, and then he goes about repairing it with twigs, but it’s not all about work. To attract a female heron, these guys do a ritualistic dance that is amazing! I’ve seen them with small twigs in their beaks, necks stretched out completely, beaks pointed towards the sky, slowly turning round and round in the nest, and they dance… literally. It’s pretty fascinating. Once a female chooses to grace a male with her presence, the mating ritual dance begins and the male really puts on a show!