Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;

 Night Heron Rescue

On my kayak eco-tour today, I was taking two guests around the back of the rookery islands and I was telling them about all the different species that nest there and how we were at the end of the nesting season with only a few stragglers still on nests on the islands.

About that time, I looked up inside the the westernmost island (closest to the marina) and saw a chick hanging upside down from a nest! There was a very large adult black-crown night heron on the nest and the chick was flapping its tiny wings, but getting nowhere. It was precariously suspended by one leg!

Needless to say, I wasn't really sure what to do, but I stopped my boat, put on gloves, waded over to the nest, gently clasped the chick and lifted it back into the nest. I didn't hang around to see what happened next, but I would hope the adult came back and tended to the chick. The chick was pretty plump -- about the size of a pretty good mango -- so I'm going to guess fairly recently that it got its little foot caught in some of the twigs on the nest and couldn't get back in.

So much for my story about nesting season being almost over! I'm not certain, but I think I saw another black-crown nest not far from that nest.

Lisa Mickey, Marine Discovery Center.