Great blue heron in rookery tree, Minnesota
The Minnesota branch of the clan has sent in some amazing shots of a heron rookery in the Mississippi River near their place. Great blue herons are the majestic slow-flying birds seen across the country at any available body of water--streams, lakes, ponds, fish hatcheries, and the like. They stand four feet tall or so, with six-foot wingspans. It's startling at first to see them nest so high up. The altitude and the island site together make an excellent predator defense, along with the close grouping of nests.
Rookery island in Mississippi River
Rookery trees on island
Great blue heron flying in with nesting material