HERON Volunteer View: Great Blue Herons Caught on Video

June 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Photo by Deb Dutton
June is when nestlings appear in most great blue heron colonies in Maine.  In Maine, great blue herons lay their eggs anytime between late April and mid-May.  After approximately 27 days of incubation, the nestlings hatch out mostly unfeathered except for pale gray down that appears a bit bushy on the crown.  They weigh less than 2 ounces at hatching and can barely hold their heads up.  Within a week or two they can be seen poking their heads above the edge of the nest bowl, especially when their parents return to the nest to provide food.  Within 7-8 weeks, the nestlings will grow to adult size, weighing in at 4.5 lbs and standing about 3 ft tall.  Check out a video clip of a heron nest with nestlings taken by Deb Dutton on Facebook!