Great Blue Heron - Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York
This Great Blue Heron nest is in a large, dead white oak in the middle of Sapsucker Woods pond, right outside the Cornell Lab's Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity. Herons have nested here since summer 2009, hatching and fledging four young each year and raising them on a steady diet of fish and frogs. Though neither bird is banded, you can identify the male by the absence of a hallux (the rear-facing toe) on his right foot. Adult herons can be up to 4.5 feet tall, with a wingspan up to 6 feet. Despite their large size, they typically only weigh around 5 pounds.
Herons usually lay 2-4 eggs, (this nest has 5eggs) and share incubation duties for 25-30 days. Incubation begins with the first egg, and the young hatch asynchronously (not at the same time) over 2-5 days. After hatching, it'll take 7-8 weeks before they fly from the nest for the first time.
Hatch should occur sometime during the last week of April.