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      Nature Report: Young Reddish Egrets

      Perched atop the thorny brush on Green Island, a great blue heron surveys the surroundings before dropping down to feed its pair of hungry offspring.

      This pair of great blue herons is growing rapidly, and the youngsters cause quite a ruckus as they aggressively compete for a meal. Finally, amidst a flurry of dangerously stabbing bills the feeding begins, and it almost appears the young will topple their parent from its perch in the process. This trio of reddish egret chicks is not quite as far along as the great blue herons, and definitely more subdued as a parent enters the nest.

      It TMs the adult that makes most of the vocalization, as it voices the distinctive gurgling call common to reddish egrets. Soon, the beak-to-beak transfer is made as the little ones savor their diet of minnows, some of which fall to the nest where the little ones quickly spear them. Several hundred pair of reddish egrets share the thorny habitat on Green Island, and in a nearby bundle of sticks a young reddish egret skillfully plucks minnow after minnow from its nest. It appears the parent is giving the youngster an opportunity to hone its fishing technique by providing a nest full of minnows for junior to practice on.

      And, I TMm not sure how many small fish a nest can hold, but this rascal seems to have an endless supply to angle for.