A Great Blue Heron, mates for a season

Great Blue Heron pair, mates

A Great Blue Heron pair, mates for a season

Great Blue Heron males compete for their mates with interesting courtship rituals which may include moaning calls, repetitive circular flying, crest raising, bill snapping, twig shaking, neck stretching, preening, and even fierce bill duelling.  Loud scuffles over females can occur but are never deadly.  When the courtship rituals ends a new couple forms a strong bond and remain together for the rest of the season.  The mates share all the work of raising their young, including nest building, incubating eggs and feeding the hatchlings.

If you spot a Great Blue Heron pair this summer watch for signs of their interesting courting rituals.

Photo taken by Greg Lasley, Wildlife Photographer