The first (and only) rookery I’ve seen is at Avery Island, and most of the birds were Great Egrets - I was amazed! We were there with Mom and Dad before their Elderhostel in Lafayette, LA.
This one was the biggest I've ever seen, and many of the nests were occupied, and thr ones I could see had 2-3 young visible! I'd seen one other near the old house with maybe a half dozen nests at most.
I'm wondering if you can see this Facebook photo I've made public:heron nest
Yes, I can see the photo, but the birds look more like storks or condors than like herons! We have a little duck right now that is alone, dives, has a dark back, white underneath, brown neck, a wide head, and white streaks on his head, but not like a bufflehead. What is it?
When I first looked through my binoculars I thought stork, too! But I have a photo of one flying off the nest; definitely great blues.
Pictures really help but I'll see what's in my book. ... How about a ruddy duck? They're in your area and have white markings on their heads.https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ruddy_Duck/id
I use my Golden Guide to Birds of North America (c1966) along with All About Birds. If you want a phone app, Merlin is supposed to be pretty good.
Dad's the one who got me interested in birds long ago, with the feeder outside the dining room.
You, Dad, and I always had the best view of the bird feeder, didn’t we? Here at the lake my favorite birds are purple martins (~20), bluebirds, eagles, snowy egrets (sounds funny here), and white pelicans (gone north now).
I just (a few days ago) found the facebook page for the local Audubon society group and have been enjoying their bird pics (many warblers are in our area now).https://www.facebook.com/groups/lvaudubon/
Do you think it's a ruddy duck? Their blue beaks are something, aren't they? Glen first saw one in Arizona.
We have a GBH rookery on the beaver pond at the back of our property. For several years we had 17 nests, but as the old snags fall each year, the nests are now clustered in fewer and fewer trees. Maybe about 9 this year, but all the nests seem to fledge young every year.
My little duck is a male horned grebe in breeding plumage! Once I realized he doesn’t have a duck’s bill, he was easy to identify.
The crowded part of the rookery. Even though not all nests seemed active, quite a few were.
Wow - lots of nests and birds! I watched great egrets hover over the water to catch minnows the other day. That’s how they might be fishing for their babies?
This was my google: “small diving floater tiny beak tufts side of head”. The 5th image was my bird. Google is pretty good!
From All about Birds: "Though it mainly hunts while wading, the Great Egret occasionally swims to capture prey or hovers (somewhat laboriously) over the water and dips for fish."
I sometimes wonder how much they learn from other species. We had a blue jay once that would pick up a sunflower seed from the feeder, then fly up to a branch to crack it open...just like the chickadees that we had in abundance. Other blue jays would just sit on the feeder and scarf up the seeds or spill them on the ground.