If a female liked a male heron's nest then the mating ritual would begin. The male would grab sticks from the trees on the island or from trees along the shore and bring them back to the nest. At the nest there was a ritual that the birds would perform, an almost intertwining of their long necks, with the male up high passing the stick and the female below accepting it. Then he would fly off to find another gift while she would use the stick to remodel the nest to her liking. Eventually this ritual would often lead to copulation and if the birds were lucky eggs. Unfortunately the summer after I took these photos a tornado hit the rookery destroying all of the nests and knocking over half of the trees. Last year I checked and none of the herons returned to the island. Most had probably moved on to less photographer accessible rookeries. But I keep checking and hoping that one day they will return.