This male Great Blue Heron visited a nearby tree where he held on to a limb with his feet, leaned forward, grasped a dead branch with his powerful beak — braced himself — and pulled the dead branch right off the limb for nesting material.
He flew his cargo back to the tree where his mate was arranging and re-arranging their nest to her liking.
She clearly liked this branch and accepted it. Whereupon she gave him a little nuzzle for his trouble, a nuzzle that made him shiver. Pleased, he flew off to get another branch. (Some human couples have adopted a similar behavior, perhaps they got it from the Herons?)
These photos were taken at the Northern end of Stowe Lake in Golden Gate Park, one of the best places to view these birds in the area, the second week of March.
Since the Herons will be nesting and chick-raising until the latter part of May you still have a little more time to see these large magnificent birds. Mid-morning is a good time as the sun is in the best position for viewing.
There is a Heron Festival in Clear Lake State Park, Kelseyville, CA every year that is worth the drive.
More information for you on this at: http://www.heronfestival.org/ or call 707) 263‑8030.
Nice people run this festival, lots of fun tours to take, visiting nesting Herons and well as Ospreys. If you are lucky you may see the dancing grebes race across the lake, too.
Wings outstretched, this Great Blue maneuvers for a landing.
Your comments & questions much appreciated