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Posts Tagged ‘blue heron’

After several unsuccessful attempts, this Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) pulled a good-sized fish out of the waters of a small pond on Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. A few second later the heron had the fish correctly positioned and swallowed in a single big gulp. I thought the heron would take a break to digest his meal, but it returned immediately to fishing.

Great Blue Herons have an amazing amount of patience. They will stand immobile for extended periods of time and then strike forcefully into the water without any notice. When I am observing a heron, it is always a challenge to remain alert and ready. Often the heron’s patience exceeds my own, but fortunately that was not the case on this particular day. I was lucky too that the heron did not turn away after it had caught the fish, which allowed me to capture some of the action.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I have seen Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) catch fish so big that I was sure that they would not be able to swallow them, but I don’t think I have ever seen one catch fish as small as the ones this heron was pulling out of the water yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The Great Blue Heron was standing on the shore rather than in deeper water. As I watched,  the heron periodically would catch and swallow one of these tiny fish and then return to scanning the water. It struck me that it would need to catch a lot of these little fish to make a satisfying meal.

Great Blue Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As I was exploring Riverbend Park yesterday, I looked out into the Potomac River and spotted a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) standing on a small, rocky island in the middle of the river. Although I see Great Blue Herons pretty regularly, I invariably stop to observe them. This heron seemed to be particularly cheerful and appeared to have a smile of its face or maybe it was singing to greet the new day.

Great Blue Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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I’ve probably photographed a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) taking off dozens of times, but this is the first time when I captured the bird flying directly away from me. This perspective makes the wingspan of the heron even more impressive  than usual.

I’ve managed to violate one of the main rules of bird photography by not ensuring that the eye was in focus (or even visible in this case), but I think that it helps to focus the viewers attention on the movement and shapes of the wings of the heron in this sequence of images.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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The sky was completely overcast early yesterday morning and most of the birds seemed to be sleeping in. One notable exception was this Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias).

I spotted him in the distance flying in my direction at a pretty good speed. Normally Great Blue Herons seem to fly at a leisurely pace, but this one appeared to be in a hurry. Although the heron looked beautiful when its wings were fully extended, as in the first image, the heron appeared menacing—almost like a predator—when he was flying straight at me with legs extended.

As the Great Blue Heron flew overhead, I was treated to a great view of the underside of its body and wings, an angle of view that I rarely see, given that herons are usually flying away from me when I spot them.

I am on the fence about whether I like the white sky or not as a background. It is certainly uncluttered, but it seems a bit unnatural, almost like I was posing the bird in a studio setting.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I never tire of watching Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) and catching them in fun and unusual poses.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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It was cold and gray yesterday afternoon at Huntley Meadows Park and there weren’t a lot of people around. The Chairman of the Board(walk) decided that it was a good time to survey his marsh from a different vantage point.

I just love watching Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) and you never know what they will choose to do next. It was unusual, however, taking photos of one using the 150mm end of my 150-600mm Tamron lens and I actually had to back up in order to fit the heron’s entire body in the frame. Shortly after I took these shots, the heron flew off a short distance, back into the water.

Chairman of the Board(walk)Chairman of the Board(walk)

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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