Cantankerous Puffs of Adorable
Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way. —John Muir
We’re finally getting drenched with some much-needed rains in South Florida — the swamps and Everglades are thrilled, I’m sure of it. Last Monday alone, we received ten inches from the sky… TEN INCHES. That kind of downpour creates flash flooding, and the accompanying high winds (and lovely lightning) can wreak havoc on birds’ nests.
During a quick visit to the wetlands between the raindrops, it was obvious that there was much repair to the nests being done throughout the preserve. As I was blankly staring at a turtle (I love our turtles), I caught some commotion deep within a Pond apple tree, one that’s been an annual home to nesting Green herons. Mom had just returned with branches to repair the nest, and her little ones were obviously expecting food — and visibly unhappy about the sticks over the food.
All babies are sweet, but Green heron babies are little cantankerous puffs of adorable.
And back she flew to the wetlands, to high commotion, for more nest-building materials. So much work to be done; babies still needed their food….
[For all you locals: If you’re as fascinated by the area’s water cycle and flow as I am, check out Go Hydrology in my “Florida Nature Blogs” to the right — fantastic daily updates and general information!]
“Cantankerous puffs of adorable”: perfect!
Hee, they really were, little angry fluff-balls! Poor mama… 🙂
A Mother’s work is never done!
Great photographs of the beautiful herons!
When you see how much they work — wow! Thanks so much; I wish the photos were a bit better, but they were really tucked in there.
we need some of that rain up here in west central Florida 🙂
Wow, you haven’t been getting it yet? But honestly, we *just* started getting it in full-force last week — a bit later than usual! I’ll try to send some your way. 😉
we’ve had a lot of clouds not much in the way of rain…thanks for sending showers our way 😉
Those are definitely adorable. A killdeer made a nest in our driveway and she raises cane every time we drive by. Not the brightest mom….or maybe she is, knowing that we’ll take care to steer away predators. ❤
Hahahh!! Love it…. It’s like “my” mockingbirds. Each year, they set up house near my doorway, and right outside the garage. And they love to dive-bomb! I always apologize to them for getting in their ways, lol.
How sweet to have been whitness to the goings on. How dry my life would be without all the birds and beasts.
You’re so very right… It touches my heart and soul each and every time! I don’t know what I’d do without such scenes and without this life.
Baby birds can be so demanding… and these guys are adorable. “Me Mom, me! Feed me! Feed me! Now!” You don’t have to speak bird to get the meaning. 🙂
So true.. I was watching the scene unfold more than I was snapping it, it was such a hoot. The poor overworked mama, though! Wow….
Awww! so darn cute! All the little babies are starting to fly right now – it’s such a great time of year 😀
It really is!! Between fixing the nests, feeding the fledglings, and teaching them to fly… I don’t know how the adults survive! 🙂
Puffs of adorable is right! And, you captured that beautifully in your photos! Gorgeous.
Thanks so much! I was watching the adorable chaos more than I was snapping it, honestly. I don’t know how wildlife survives… So much WORK.
Fantastic title for the post. There’s nothing like demanding kids to ramp up the noise level.
Heh, thanks. And the mama didn’t make a peep — poor thing was exhausted, you could just see it.
I’ve never seen a green heron chick, but that’s probably because I avoid their nesting sites if I can. Thanks for the photos of them, now I know what they look like.
It’s impossible to avoid nesting sites in this particular preserve — rookeries galore. But these urban wetlands and their inhabitants are carefully protected by human visitors, fortunately. On my hikes in the ‘glades, it’s definitely near-impossible to be afforded such a glimpse!
The Green heron babies are so sweet!
Aren’t they just the most adorable little things? 🙂
Aptly named post! Great shots.
Hee, thanks so much! If you had seen the scene unfold, there was no other naming it… 🙂
Awww…so cute! Love the little greenie babies! Tremendous shots!
Thanks so much! It was a bit dark, and they were really tucked in the pond apple, but what fun…. 🙂
Adorable! It’s fun seeing little critters from across the country up close and personal… Here in San Diego I mostly encounter ground squirrels and seagulls.
You’re so right — I love seeing all the critters the world over! 🙂
I bet you guys have lots of sea and shorebirds, though!
What a cutie this little green Heron chick is ! Wonderful photos !! // Maria
Aren’t they the sweetest? And the scene — doubly adorable! 🙂
Thanks so very much!! -Christina
So cute! I’ve never seen them fuzzy like that. Send some of that rain up to Tampa. We need it bad.
I love when they get to that fuzzy stage, able to trot around the trees — harassing mom and dad! 🙂
Wow, you guys aren’t getting our rains on your coast? I’m surprised, and so sorry! Another Florida gal in the north mentioned the same (no rain, send some)… So here’s to pushing it your way!!
I was just out photographing these cuties today! Wonderful!
Ah, no way! Did you see babies? Love this stage! 🙂
Actually I saw tricolor heron babies – they are so funny! Pictures will show up sometime soon. Got lots to sort from California trip and all this activity here in Florida. Great place to live!
Ah, I love the tricolor babies!! They’re so gangly and funny…. I just shot a few of them, too. 🙂
Adorable they are! I envy your rain and I’m in awe of the land there that is able to take that much! I would love to spend time in the Everglades!
Aw, I just know you would LOVE it… It’s beautiful, unique, and so-very-special. And I bet you wouldn’t get lost like I constantly do. 🙂
Great Captures – so stinkin cute:)
Heh heh… Completely stinkin’ cute!! 🙂
Wow, I’ve never seen a chick of these Green Herons, and you did it, great!!!
Ah, I’m so happy you got a glimpse of one! Aren’t they the sweetest little fluff-balls? This guy was so brave, too… 🙂
That last picture is too perfect! See me roar!!! 🙂
You never know what you might see out walking!
I love that one too! I wish it weren’t so dark (they were really tucked in there, on a dark day)… Little one so cantankerous, and poor mama, so harried! 🙂 You’re right though… It’s when you’re not looking, when the surprises occur.
Those birds truly are adorable! Fabulous shots.
Thanks so very much! I was thrilled to have been there at the right time… 🙂 They’re such sweethearts.
Truly, truly a cutie. Thank you very much!!!
Love your Gravatar photo Marialla.
Ah, aren’t they the sweetest? Thanks so very much… I was just lucky and happy to have witnessed the event! 🙂 Poor mama, though! Busy girl….
Beautiful FeyGirl – love these photos. 🙂
Thanks so very much!! 🙂 They’re absolute sweethearts….
I had never seen green heron babies before. I loved their puffy cantankerousness!
Ten inches of rain overnight? Wow. We had rain here, but it was more like a normal amount. It has been much colder than usual though. On the plus side, it didn’t snow like it did in New York, so at least we had that going for us. 🙂
Aren’t they the sweetest? The scene was absolutely hysterical, too…. 🙂
Oh, I haven’t even mentioned the rest of the week… Or this morning! By the time I woke up this AM, we had already had 5 inches overnight! WHAT?!? Pretty nutty weather, even for here. My mother lives in the Philly area, and she’s been talking about massive swings up there…. Whoa! (And colder, too, like you!)
These photos really made my day! 🙂
Aw, I’m so happy! They’re such sweet little fluff-balls… And this particular guy was particularly ornery and brave, hee! 🙂
These are awesome powder puff balls ! I bet you’re so happy to see these little ones. Hope the mosquitos didn’t come out in droves after the rain. I’m in Gainesville next week to visit mum.
I bet in the swamps those nasties are in FULL FORCE! Argh!!
Oh no, I’m going north this Friday…2 days!! But I’ll be up there for a week-and-a-half (work + family)! What! We’re going to be passing each other in the sky!!
That’s just not right !! Let me know about your longer visit though.
SERIOUSLY! I’ll be up north till the 12th, though at least… I hope the cicadas don’t attack while I’m there. 🙂
The 12th ? I’ll be back by then. Just there for a few days.
Ohhh, maybe I’ll drag my brother to that fun jungle-gym of yours then, hahah! When I showed him, he said… I’m not training to be a Navy Seal. Lol.
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If you study the little ones from eye to the tip of their beak – you come across such a wealth of colors!
I love what you commented above about mockingbirds – they fear nothing! Also blackbirds – I was walking through a parking lot, when suddenly I felt my hair being tugged (it hurt!). I turned to my side and there was a little blackbird, perched on a car, giving me the eye as if to ask me to state my business, and would I be leaving anytime soon.
A bird’s parental inclinations – you have to love it!
Hah — that’s *exactly* what struck me, even in the camera’s tiny viewfinder… The depth and wealth of colors spreading across the tiny beak! Isn’t it glorious? You’re the first to comment on that, too… But that’s my absolute favorite part of the entire capture. Just brilliant.
I adore our mockingbirds — they’re so FEISTY! I always talk to them, of course. I look absolutely crazy. And…. Heeee! LOVE your blackbird! I like to think she was trying to tell you something. Wow. That’s just fantastic. 🙂
At least these parents don’t have a cuckoo chick! Or the equivalent..a GIANT heron 🙂 Absolutely gorgeous photos.
Hahahha!! Thanks so much… They’re so sweet, aren’t they? And so ornery. I just loved ’em! 🙂
I left your page open waiting for my son to come back from school. And when he did I showed him the pictures of these little puffs of adorable and read the text to him. He smiled when he saw those fuzzy things waiting for their Mama to return. You described them perfectly! Cantankerous and puffs of adorable evoke warm, fuzzy, giggly, and other sounds that middle-aged Aunties make when they see babies! Thanks for this excellent post. I can feel your heart’s thrill and overflow in seeing these tiny young ones so full of spirit and that certain oomph! 😀 I bet you laugh a lot when you’re out taking pictures! Sharon p.s. I’m pretty sure you told me your name once…is it Susanna? Suzanne? Shenandoah? Jelly-Beans? Give me one more chance to get it right ok! 😀
Aren’t they the sweetest? And seeing the scene unfold was just fantastic… Poor mama! She was in such a rush to fix the nest, attend to the babies — she was visibly harried! But the little ones would have NONE of it. 🙂
And… HAHAH! Shenandoah! Jelly-beans, my favorite! It’s actually a bit more boring, though — Christina, or Christy for short. 😉
Too late! Shenandoah is stuck on my mind! 😀 Thank you Christy. I promise to commit this name to memory from henceforth!
Hahah! 🙂 I personally love Shenandoah Jelly-bean. You’re sweet.
The perfect headline! Great photos.
Thanks so very much! It really was a wonderful little snippet of a scene…. 🙂
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Thanks so very much for sharing our ornery little guys! 🙂
Lol….I have always referred to the herons as my cranky birds…
Hee, they really are loud, seemingly ornery guys, aren’t they? Especially the babies! Poor mamas (and dads, sorry — they do the work too!).
Had to weigh in to agree that your headline is perfect and as perfectly cute as your subjects!!
Aw, thanks so very much! These were the guys in the front pond apple tree, the ones who nest there each year. Just adore them…. 🙂
I love a baby bird as much as the next person, but it’s the devotion of the parents that really gets to me. My blue jay babies still haven’t fledged, I guess. But the parents have come to my feeder for three years now – I don’t have a doubt it’s the same pair. I can’t even count the number of trips they make each day, starting just at sunrise and often pushing it to make “one more run” before the sun goes down.
It makes me nervous when we have a real storm, wondering about the nests. But apparently they have the blueprints tucked in a drawer, and can make repairs “on the fly”!
It’s truly amazing, to see the birds’ – all of them – devotion to the young. In the beating sun, in the rain, on a perfectly normal day…. I’m in continual awe. The amount of work that the parents exert in caring for their little ones is truly awe-some. And exhausting. I worry too, during the storms – but as evidenced here, they rebuild! And quickly….. 🙂
I like your phrase “cantankerous puffs of adorable.”
Heh, thanks so very much!! The way this little one was behaving, was just that. It was a fantastic scene.
These are adorable! Very nice photos, enjoyed them very much! :O)
Thanks so very much — I was incredibly lucky to have witnessed this little event. A day in the life… 🙂
Those are incredibly cute! : )
Thanks so very much! I was incredibly lucky to spy them in the trees; they were so well hidden…..
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This is my favourite blog of all time.I hope you will all check it out. Sometimes, living in an urban area, it is easy to forget how amazing and beautiful Florida really is. Serenity Spell is the perfect antidote for that:-)