June 07, 2010

Story - Sibling Rivalry

An account of sibling rivalry at the Valentines Park Grey Heron nest..
by Gillian Ware - June 7th 2010
Today the herons were really lively and two of them very unfriendly, ostracizing their sibling.
This unloved one decided to go exploring and gradually made his ungainly, wobbly way up the ivy-covered tree,disappearing round the back and then emerging periodically. He succeeded ingetting very high up.
Finally, he apparently wanted to relax in the nest and made his round-about way down. However the reception he received from the other two birds was vicious!

They squawked, flapped their wings and made it quite plain that they did not want him back. He kept retreating and then returning but got the same hostile treatment each time. One of the other two eventually decided to climb up the tree too and disappeared in the ivy round the back. I could just see more friction taking place between this one and the first climber- more flapping wings and outstretched necks.

Finally- after nearly five hours there!- I had to leave. The ostracized one had retreated to a high position on the tree, the second one was stilllurking in the ivy while the third one was standing uneasily in the nest... It will be interesting to see what happens next!

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