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Thread: Rookery Timeline

  1. #1

    Default Rookery Timeline

    refidnasb

    Re: Neotropic Cormorant Hagerman NWR 3/5/16
    Saw at least one Anhinga yesterday 3/6/16 at the UTSW Rookery. Early for a bird like that.

    (above copied from a neotropic cor. thread)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yesterday, March 10, 2016 I was at the rookery and saw approx. 40 Great Egret nests....many being sat upon....many being built. Aside from that, did
    not see any other rookery nesting birds.

    Perhaps we can keep a running timeline under this thread of every time someone goes to the rookery and what they see-- in words ONLY maybe? So it is relatively condensed and we end up with a decent timeline of what comes when, etc. And then totally show off your awesome rookery photos under your own moniker so you get the total credit. And, of course, we will all stay on beyond the nesting area observing the KEEP OUT signs so the birds inside are safe on the ground, etc.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Rookery Timeline

    I was out there late Sunday March 6 and observed 350 nests using the vantage point of the parking garage to the southwest of the rookery. 350 is a good hard count number. Ebird:

    http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S28012086

    Anhinga was the most interesting bird seen as it is very early for them.

    Possible House Finch nesting in the covered basketball court pavilion.

    I have only ever seen one person trespassing in the rookery and breaking the law. That individual is a local bird photographer that often harasses raptor nests and disrupts animals to get their shots. That individual has also been perma-banned from Montgomery County Texas by their Sheriff's Department for disturbing eaglets in a Bald Eagle nest there....and got the Game Warden called on them for the exact same thing near Hillsboro.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Rookery Timeline

    Kala, Molley and I toured the rookery this morning, March 16.

    Rookery nesting species we saw:

    100s of Great Egrets displaying, copulating, coming and going, ferrying sticks, or sitting on nests, with some nests out of sight from our vantage point on top of that SW parking garage: too many to count successfully. Hats off to Ben - dunno how he managed a hard count. More patience perhaps.
    18 Black-crowned Night-herons, already paired up and claiming a nest or nesting site.
    11 Anhingas -- saw a female arrive and perch in rookery from top of that parking garage. A bit later a male arrived and perched in a different spot. A couple of hours later we were seeing 11 of them circling overhead, which was probably the entire cohort. I imagine the original nesting pair have been bringing their offspring and grand-offspring, etc., back with them, so the nesting colony grows each year.

    Misc passerines, etc. (numbers less than 10 in all cases):

    Turkey Vulture
    White-winged Dove
    Eastern Phoebe
    Blue Jay
    American Robin
    Yellow-rumped Warbler
    Dark-eyed Junco
    Song Sparrow
    Lincoln's Sparrow
    Cardinal
    Common Grackle
    Great-tailed Grackle
    House Finch (heard only)
    Last edited by betsy; 03-19-2016 at 04:32 PM. Reason: Added Lincoln's Sparrow.
    Betsy
    "My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird,
    -- the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!"
    (from "The Windhover" by Gerard Manley Hopkins)

    "My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather."
    Loire Hartwould

    "You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird . . . So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing - that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."
    Richard P. Feynman

  4. #4

    Default Re: Rookery Timeline

    3/25/16 at 630pm I observed about 30 White Ibis fly into the rookery from the Trinity. About 20 adults, ten immature. Flying with them was a single Little Blue Heron that also landed in the rookery. About a minute later nine cattle egrets flew in from the same direction.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Rookery Timeline

    3/27/2016 Cool, cloudy, and windy this morning...saw Great Egrets, Black Crowned Night Herons, Anhinga....saw 11 Cattle Egrets fly over, but they did not land. Did not see any ibis nor blue heron (and the regular residents-- sparrows, etc-- were fairly quiet).

  6. #6

    Default Re: Rookery Timeline

    Molley and I visited the rookery this morning. Lots of great egrets and babies all over the place. From fluffy very little babies up to one that looked almost ready to fledge. Learned that the adult egrets swallow fish whole then regurgitate them whole to feed the chicks. Saw one nest with 4 chicks. Lots of sibling rivalry but no bodies on the ground at this point.

    Lots of black-crowned herons paired up and on nests brooding throughout and mixed in with the greats. Seem to be eggs but no signs of chicks.

    Lots of snowy egrets mixed in with greats and black-crowned, and some snowies are paired up and on nests but no signs of brooding, they were standing together on some nests. Most snowies were still displaying and mock fighting and courting. Lovely red lores.

    Two pairs of anhingas seem to be nesting in the interior, one was brooding on a nest and another pair was perched nearby on tree tops, paired up but not brooding. a flock of 5 female anhingas flying at one point and a mixed group of 4 at another point. Seems to be about 12 in all.

    One little blue heron photographed flying over the rookery.

    And one tri-colored heron perched on a lower branch a bit back from the edge, got photos and it had the white head plumes and white throat and belly, side views only. Confirmed just for extra sureness from photos sent to Betsy.

    Mourning dove sitting on nest under the pavilion at ceiling about mid roof. Other nest, might be your house finch Ben, but no one was on it, on interior top of a side wall of the pavilion.
    Lots of smaller usual suspect birds, Molley will do a complete ebird report. Nothing unusual with them.

    No sign of cattle egret or ibis and we looked hard for both. Smell really not too bad, perhaps winds from the past two days helped.
    Kaptured by Kala

    http://kapturedbykala.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: Rookery Timeline

    4/10/2016 at 3-4pm Saw about 5 White Ibis deep in the interior, as viewed from the memorial concrete area on the north end of the rookery. Hard to tell if they are nesting.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Rookery Timeline

    4/14/2016 Kala and I went this morn. Evidence the hail killed some chicks and broke some eggs of great egrets whose nests
    were most exterior. Kala saw a Snowy eating a hunk of meat that was apparently part of an egret chick (!!)
    Some Great Egrets still building nests though many have chicks-- saw a chick who was walking about and nearly adult sized. Saw another dead chick who was probably victim of fratricide as too young to be branching. Most chicks looked very healthy.
    Snowy Egrets less active than last week though some still displaying. Many on nests now. Saw 3 fighting.
    Anhinga displaying, mating, possibly nest building-- perhaps will build in trees alongside eastern parking garage.
    Ibis!!!!! Flew in. Seemed a balance of adults and first summers. They like the spot about 20' inside from the
    bent corner nearest the gym (so not too far from the pond that's on the south side).
    Black-Crowned Night-Herons seemed less timid than before. Kala pointed out one that rose off a nest. She saw
    movement under the bird...so...chick time??????
    Tricoloreds are displaying, mating, maybe nesting....they seem to like being about 30' in from the eastern side nearest
    parking garage.
    Did not see any Little Blues nor Cattle Egrets.

    eBird report with pics: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S28946043

  9. #9

    Default Re: Rookery Timeline

    Went to the rookery this morning. Still lots of great egrets. Baby great egrets are all older looking now and there are a lot of fledglings on the ground too. Saw one nest where siblicide is in progress, one baby was blood covered and the other had a bloody beak. Lots of display and stick gathering behavior still going on.
    The snowies all seem to be paired up and brooding now. Did not see any baby snowies.
    The black-crowned night herons all seem to be paired up and sitting on nests. They seem to like to have several nests in the same tree. A colony here and there of them. There should be babies by now but you can't see them. Would this be because they feed at night?
    I saw several anhinga, none on nests and they seem to be staying in the interior or flying over. Males exhibiting display behavior. They do seem to be pairing up.
    I saw a pair of tri-colored herons walking in the water together.
    New this time, I saw a pair of little blue herons going thru courtship behavior no nest yet. And I saw 4 more little blue herons a ways to the right of the pair, they seemed to be hanging out in one big group, not necessarily paired up.
    There was no sign of any ibis perched, on the ground or in the air this time.
    New: The cattle egrets have shown up, at least 100 of them. They are skittish and easily spooked. They are in the low to mid size bushes and trees in the middle of the greenery, about 30 at a time. Display behavior and some mock fighting. I saw one pair of cattle egret which were separate and paired up and both were pulling sticks off trees and beginning to build a nest.
    I also saw one feline predator stick it's head out of the underbrush, got excited maybe my first bobcat. Got my lens on it and it was a large rough looking feral cat. Understandably plump.
    Is anyone else seeing any babies other than the great egrets?
    Kaptured by Kala

    http://kapturedbykala.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Grand Prairie
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Rookery Timeline

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptured by Kala View Post
    Is anyone else seeing any babies other than the great egrets?
    I took my family out there Saturday afternoon. It was our first time. What a great place in the middle of the city! We did see a couple of Black-crowned Night-Heron nests with chicks on the NW corner, right above the no trespassing line, perhaps 20 feet up. One nest had at least one chick, and the other had at least two. There were several broken blue egg shells nearby too.

    We saw too many Great Egrets, Cattle Egrets, and Snowy Egrets to count. We saw two Anhingas perched on the tops of the trees in the middle of the rookery, from the vantage point of the top of the stairs in the parking garage on the east side. We saw a few other Anhingas flying in and out during our visit also.

    I caught a glimpse of what I am fairly certain was a Tricolored Heron but couldn't track it down through the trees to verify.

    During our first walk around the perimeter, we saw one White Ibis in the shadows by a pond on the south side. It retreated into the interior quickly. That's the only Ibis we saw our first time around. We wanted to try to get a picture of one so we decided to take a quick walk around one more time, and were treated to an adult on the NW side near a large group of egrets, and an immature near the SW edge along Campus Rd.

    As we were getting into our car to leave, a group of about six immature ibis flew in from the south.

    Here's a list of the species we saw (I'm still new to birding so we did see some others briefly that I wasn't able to identify):

    Great Egret
    Cattle Egret
    Snowy Egret
    Anhinga
    Black-crowned Night-Heron
    White Ibis
    American Robin
    Blue Jay
    Northern Cardinal (male and female)
    Woodpecker (probably a Downy)
    Great-tailed Grackle

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