Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Rookery at Port Royal


The main reason we went out to Port Royal Sunday was to see the egrets nesting. I've seen rookeries before but never as low to the ground and as close to people as this one.



We walked quietly along the boardwalk,

came around a bend,




and there they were!













Some were preening and courting, but two or three were sitting on nests already like the two hunkered down on the right.

The nests are surprisingly small and flimsy, made of a few sticks and barely bigger than the bird.

The black birds you see in the trees are cormorants, and at the water level are several coots and two wood ducks. In the trees behind I counted 13 black-crowned night herons roosting. As you can tell by their name, they rest during the day and hunt at night.


Egrets in their breeding plumage are large and gorgeous birds.

They were nearly hunted into extinction for the use of those plumes on ladies' hats in the 1800s.








Wonder how many egrets were needed to make this confection.

Thank goodness they are now protected and it's illegal to hunt them.

(Photo from Vintage Everyday)






We will be going back in about 2 1/2 weeks to see if the first eggs have hatched.



  1. Hard to say which would cause more resistance to my wearing one of those hats:
    the idea that so many birds suffered for those hats, or my own suffering at having to carry the weight of one of those hats on my head.

  2. wow the egrets are charming birds and so big.

  3. They really are very close. They must feel so comfortable around visitors to nest so near to the boardwalk.

  4. Rookeries are always located in "safe" places by the birds.
    They sure are interesting to visit but you wouldn't want a rookery
    to start up right next door to your country home - the smell is somewhat overwhelming.
    Anyhow the egrets etc have more sense than to build their rookery near the
    living areas of people.
    Now visiting the colonies of flying-foxes/bats that is another matter, stench of
    the most putrid. Anyhow WHO in their right mind would go anywhere near filthy flying foxes?

    Cynthia - you will really need ear plugs when you return and the young have been hatched!

  5. What fun to visit a rookery. Those hats made me smile:)

  6. That first hat - how delightful and much fashion in it's day.
    Interesting to see and read your post.
    Enjoy your return, hopefully not too noisy.

  7. Amazing hats glad they can't be made any more.

  8. I have never seen egrets nestling, those nests don't look very comfortable to sit on.

  9. What an amazing sight, something that I have never seen before.

  10. Looks like an amazing place to walk. My camera for some reason is having issues.
    Coffee is on

  11. I've never been to a rookery. It must be amazing to see all those beautiful birds.

  12. Those Egrets are quite a site. Seen them in action before, but never visited a rookery.

  13. Oh how fashions have changed... thankfully! Happily a pretty ribbon will do on your bonnet these days :) We will look forward to seeing the babies!
    Wren x