Below is a set of four siblings produced and raised this year within the heronry at the GSC.

(click on images to enlarge)

Great Blue Heron

Birds of this size and age (about ready to leave the nest) keep the parents very busy in satisfying their appetites.

Great Blue Heron

This parent lands first at a nearby tree for what looks like a few moments of stress relief.

Great Blue Heron

And they deserve a moment for themselves as they produced four beautiful offspring.

Great Blue Heron

 I wish to thank all the staff and supporters of The Great Swamp Conservancy for making this possible and for promoting nature and conservation.


Within The Heronry

Within the eastside trail system is an active heronry. This post shows a few of our Great Blue Herons up close.

At times the large birds appear rather regal in their springtime breeding plumage.

Great Blue Herons are monogomous during breeding season, but will choose a new partner the next year. 

Highly developed eyesight allows them to hunt for food (mainly fish) day or night. This activity occupies close to 90% of their time.

Nests are made of sticks and used year after year (though usually not by the same Herons). A typical nest is two feet across, although it can reach four feet across with nesting material added year after year.

Great blue Herons have an average lifespan of fifteen years. Walking the east side trail sytem one is able to share a small fraction of that time with them. North America’s largest Heron would surely be an enjoyable watch for a nature enthusiast. Bring your binoculars or cameras and be entertained by the Great Blue Heron.

2017 Calendar

Canada Goosecanada-geese-5595
For the second year I have put together a Birds Of The Great Swamp Conservancy calendar. They will be available at The GSC nature center located at the corners of Pine Ridge Road and North Main Street, Canastota, New York for the price of 10 dollars (all profits going to the GSC). 

American Robin  (March)robin-7644

Your purchase gets you a quality product produced by the Oneida Print Shop

Great Blue Heron  (May)great-blue-heron-1108

And too you’re promoting environmental education and conservation. That’s a win-win.

Tree Swallow  (January)tree-swallow-7964

So why not stop at the GSC, (store hours are Tuesday thru Saturday 10 until 3) and get yours? Better yet, pick one or more up as you attend one of their special events (check out their website).

Wood Duck  (November)finished-wood-duck-5980

In closing I want to comment on The Fall Migration Festival. There was so much going on, from many games for children to a nature walk in the woods, horse rides to Chicken BBQ, birds of prey exhibitors to fun basket raffles, live music wafting in the air to the great photos and insight from the GSC’s own Swamp Snappers photo club. There were crafters ( I bought some goat cheese, it was delicious) and their wares to very informative nature talks with representatives of the Beaver Lake Nature Center, and so much more.

It was a great event. The best part for me was seeing the smiles on everyones faces. It was nice to see children and parents alike, having fun together. If you are looking for something to do with your family think of attending one of the GSC’s many events. They are both informative and fun; events a family can enjoy together.

This was all made possible by many hardworking volunteers. I want to say to all the volunteers, your hard work paid off, it was evident in the smiles of the attendees. 

A Saturday In Mid October

Saturday was a beautiful sunny fall day. This Rusty Blackbird was photographed in full fall plumage. Breeding adult males are black in color females gray. I rather prefer this out of breeding season look.

Rusty Blackbird (click on photos to enlarge)


European Starlingeuropean-starling-6531

Another bird with fall plumage I prefer over It’s breeding look is the European Starling. Not a popular bird for sure and many consider it drab, however in the fall it does look quite different.

Great Blue Heron
Passing the beaver damn I flushed out a Great Blue Heron. Fortunately it flew to a nearby spot even better suited for my photography needs.

I want to thank those whose blogs I follow, you have helped me become a better photographer. Not that I am in your league, some of you are amazing!

To those who follow me thank you, I am humbled. Just trying to improve my photography and share what I love about nature and The Great Swamp Conservancy.