Mid-April and early May mark the time that we will see nesting cormorants and egrets. This year is no different. Both birds have started their courtship, nesting, and mating rituals for the season. The white pelicans have also returned for the season and will begin their courtships in early May.
We Feel Like We Are Grounded
It’s been a little over a month since the stay at home COVID-19 order was put into place for Wisconsin. Anyone else going stir crazy? My husband and I feel like we were naughty children that have been confined to our homes for poor behavior. Why is that when you can’t do something, you want to do it all the more? But, instead, we have been following the rules written in the Stay at Home order.
Pulled the Trigger
This month my husband pulled the trigger on a used Lund Rebel XL fishing boat. Since we have no idea how long this order will be in place, we were looking for a safe activity that would stay within order rules.
Over the span of our 27 years of marriage, we have had some form of a boat. Two summers ago, we were made an offer we couldn’t pass up on our 28-foot boat. We sold it and moved on to doing other activities. We said we could live without one and we proved it was possible, but the man in my life still longed for a fishing boat.
Oh, But Don’t You Miss Your Waterbirds?
Don’t tell him this, but the convincing argument was I could see my water birds again, up close and personal. Of course, he had to spice it up for me to take the bait by adding from the water, a person can visit the rookeries, get different shorebirds on camera, and see all the loon babies on smaller inland lakes. (Besides fishing of course.).
Double-Crested Cormorant Rookery
(Click on any picture if you want to purchase a print.)
April 19, 2020 – It is a new-season and soon there will be new life. The double-crested cormorants have begun to nest in Wisconsin. Cormorants nest near a water source sometimes on cliff ledges, the ground, on islands, or in trees.
Collecting Nesting Materials
Both the male and female collect sticks to build the nest. The typical time it takes the birds to build a nest is 2-4 days. A Female will lay 1-7 eggs in the clutch (average 4) and they will need to be incubated for 26-28 days.
Nesting Has Begun
Double-crested cormorant sitting on a nest.
Two of a Kind
Great White Egret With Nesting Material
Although there wasn’t any visual proof that nests were being built on the island, there were two birds flying in and out with sticks. Unfortunately, the spot they flew into was hidden from my view.
When a group of pelicans is together they are called a pod. Pelicans in groups for breeding, are said to be in colonies and generally, come together on islands. The pelicans nest and raise their young on the island.
This group is coming together in a great number to start breeding.
A pair of great white egrets, what appears to be a male and a female having a little fun doing some fancy moves to some affection. You can see a clear look at the long plumes, called aigrettes that grow from its back during mating season.
Beautiful Mating Colors
During mating season the birds have a patch of skin on the bird’s face that turns green, contrasting with the bright yellow beak.
I’m positive we will make it back out to this spot of the course of the nesting season. Look for updates in the coming months.