Post Modern Cranes Photography by John Middelkoop

Bethlehem Steel built 42 destroyers for the US Navy here during World War II.

These photographs were shot at Berth 240Z in the Port of Los Angeles

The huge Colby Cranes are still standing, a testament to human engineering.

A testament to our war effort.

In a strange symbiotic relationship, Great Blue Heron have found the cranes a perfect place to nest.

Beginning in early March of every year, male Great Blue Herons arrive at the cranes.

In order to attract the female, he must build a suitable nest to raise 1 to 3 babies.

The abandoned shipyard is now the springtime breading ground for Great Blue Heron.

Beginning in early March of every year, male Great Blue Herons arrive at the cranes.
Building a nest stick by stick.
Mating ritual exhibited by a male GBH, sometimes they will maintain this posture for hours on end.
Having a great nest is just the beginning, competion from younger males is fierce.

I didn't notice the GBH's the first time I shot pictures here.

But when I went to shot again in March I still didn't see the birds until I started processing the take in PhotoShop and was able to zoom in.

At first I would see shadows of what could only be large birds. Then I would spot legs, then I saw one on a stair case with its back to me, all I knew was that it was big. Then this photo revealed all to me. There are 3 GBH's sitting on this crane.

The more I hung out, the more of them I saw. Normally they are quite shy, but I've been very close to them. Of course the loud clunking of the shutter in my Nikon D3 scares them.

Created By
John Middelkoop


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