Friday, April 6, 2012

Breaking News: Female Cornell Heron Lays a FIFTH Egg!

I know! It's amazing, isn't it? At 2:20 AM EDT (or maybe a little earlier) this morning, the female of the Great Blue Heron pair the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is monitoring laid a FIFTH egg. We didn't see that coming. A full Great Blue Heron clutch is 2-4 eggs, but 5 has been recorded on rare occasions. But every time, the fifth chick was tiny and usually ended up dying. Now I'm worried.
Someone watching the cam apparently found a website that said herons lay 4-7 eggs, but only 4 hatch. Cornell, instead of denying it, demonstrated their great sense of open-mindedness by saying, and I quote "I guess we'll have to find out!" :) I love them.
Now a little about the Cornell Herons:

In spring 2009, the Cornell team was delighted to find a Great Blue Heron pair building a nest in a dead oak in the pond right next to their Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity. It was the first known Great Blue Heron nest in Sapsucker Woods. The herons successfully raised 4 young that year. They came back in 2010, and raised 4 young again. And they did the same thing in 2011. We can't be sure the female is the same from all the years, but the male is missing his back toe on his right foot, so we're certain he's the same as every year.

                                         All photos accredited to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The female right after she laid her 3rd egg.

Mom and Dad at the nest.

The Lab was able to document never-before-seen behavior, such as egg-laying shown here.

The Herons also offer great entertainment!

If you would like to see the webcam, (and I'm sure you do) here's a link. There is also a chat that goes along with the cam, which is monitored by the Lab. If you have questions, or just want to talk about birds, you can chat with other people just like you.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katie- do you watch the hawks that are on a web cam too? they are also at cornell !!! we like to watch the hawks!!!!


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