Blue Heron and Oriole Nest Sightings at Magazine Beach!

19 Jan

Many thanks to Bill August for the photos of a heron that he saw at the park October 30th. Birder Janet Crystal notes that Great Blue Heron “don’t migrate like other birds. They are considered a partial migrant because they may move south from their northernmost breeding range as the weather gets colder. They will stay around this area year-round as long as there is open water where they can catch food. It’s not unusual for them to stay around throughout the winter.”

The Riverside Boat Club’s Dick Garver says that rowers often see them standing motionless on the riverbanks. Mary Holbrow added that they are often spotted at the waterfall in Newton/Watertown. Here’s a video of a heron pursuing herring during a recent herring run in the Charles (near the Watertown dam). 2013 was a great year for herring in the Charles

See this List of birds found in this area and information about them.

IMG_4652

Oriole nest. Photo by Mary Holbrow

Oriole nest. Photo by Mary Holbrow

Mary Holbrow identified the oriole nest above, looking much like a crocheted sack, just on the park side of the pedestrian footbridge. She notes that “According to an informative piece on the National Wildlife Federation website, many birds that use string seem to like white string best. Where the nesting bird found this much of it is a puzzle, though. Possibly from fiberglass scraps and monofilament fishing line.”

After some research, she added: “I looked into bird vision a bit on line. Birds’ visual capabilities are different from ours and differ from one species to another, but in general they have a higher density of red-green-blue color receptors than we do, and also ultraviolet receptors. This makes their vision and contrast perception sharper than ours, so probably your white string shows up brilliantly to them among the greenery. They probably use rather short lengths of string, too; apparently about 6 inches is ideal. Tight knots would be a problem, though; I imagine that last year’s string, if still around, would be easier for them to get off from shriveled leaves and branches.”

Send us your photos of wildlife at the park. This 15-acre stretch along the Charles is our local preserve! 

One Response to “Blue Heron and Oriole Nest Sightings at Magazine Beach!”

  1. Bill August, President, Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association February 4, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    Hi. According to my research, the heron in the photos is a “Little Blue Heron,” not the Great Blue Heron, although the Little Blue Heron is a far cry from little. It is pictured in Edward Howe Forbish’s ‘Birds of Massachusetts and Other New England States,” Vol. 1 (1925) and is reported to be in area between April and end of September, although I photographed this beauty Oct. 31st.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 70 other followers

%d bloggers like this: