Feeding Time at the Zoo

After watching great egrets for a while — they were preening on treetops, and flying in with nesting materials — I realized that some birds were a little ahead of the courting game.  Some birds had already had their babies.

Mother and child?  Well, anyway, it was a peaceful scene.

2-photo collage of great egret with chickPeaceful, that is, until the other parent got home.

4-photo collage of great egret feeding chicksNor was this a one-off reaction.  Happy little families transformed into ravening hordes before my eyes wherever I looked.

4-photo collage of great egrets feeding chicksAnd speaking of eyes, I share the egret’s uncertainty.  Given those juvenile beaks, is it better to go at it eyes closed or eyes open?

2-photo collage of great egret feeding chicks

 

6 Comments

  1. And how, with their tiny brains, do they know how to do anything they do? This week, a robin’s fledglings left their nest, which had been positioned on the top of a mattress destined for the dump. Of course, we could not move it when we discovered the mother bird’s repurposing of the bedding. But once they all had flown, I took down the nest. What a marvel of construction it is, with softer, finer grass reserved for a circular mat in the bottom of the packed-mud bowl built into her woven twigs, grasses, and leaves. I wonder if I do anything with such casual, creative verve that is so entirely practical.

    These charming photos give us insights into the business of living in such perfect abodes.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – Indeed, they are amazing. And speaking of tiny brains, how do Monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles? I have trouble finding North.

  2. Jim Taylor

    What I find fascinating is that some of these birds have near-lethal beaks. But they manage to be gentle with them. Tender, even. It seems to me there’s a lesson there for humans who have big muscles and/or big weapons.
    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim – Hmm. I agree, in the sense that I’ve often been glad I don’t look like lunch to an egret or heron. Their beaks look like they could pierce my skull. But while they’re gentle to their young, they’re pretty devastating to fish and small invertebrates. Perspective again, eh?

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