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Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron on ice

I usually don’t have much luck with these big birds as they tend to flee when they see me coming. On a cold morning earlier this month, this particular one was content to let me get relatively close though which was nice for a change. It was keeping watch from the edge of the ice on a pond just as the sun was coming up over the horizon. The golden light made for a pleasing capture.

These birds have small bodies but are quite tall with massive wingspans that can reach over 6 feet wide. Oftentimes found along shorelines of lakes and calm areas of rivers, Great Blue Herons are very adept at plucking fish from the waters.

A Great Blue Heron stands on the edge of the ice of a partially frozen pond in Longmont, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Heron stands on the edge of the ice of a partially frozen pond in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Great Blue Heron heads off into the morning sun

It was a rather pleasant, late spring day when I snapped this picture of this big bird. It and I played hide and seek for quite a little while. Just when I was getting in position for a picture, it would take flight in the opposite direction, frustrating my efforts. This particular time though, it flew somewhat across my field of vision giving me a decent series.

These birds have small bodies but are quite tall with massive wingspans that can reach over 6 feet wide. Oftentimes found along shorelines of lakes and calm areas of rivers, Great Blue Herons are very adept at plucking fish from the waters.

A Great Blue heron takes flight across a pond in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue heron takes flight across a pond in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Great Blue Heron gets a close-up

These large, beautiful birds are usually pretty skittish and not likely to let you approach. This particular one might have been like that were it not for the fact it was totally focused on walking the shoreline hunting for a meal.

I initially spotted it when it was a good 40 yards or more away from me. After I took a few distant images, the heron started walking along the shoreline right toward me. Rather than press my luck, I opted to just stand and wait. The bird was so intent on looking for prey, it never seemed to notice I was there, eventually coming within 20 feet of me.

Drizzle was falling and skies were dark which made it a bit of a challenge but it was fun to be able to capture some images from such close range. Taken at St Vrain State Park, Colorado.

A Great Blue Heron looks for a meal at St Vrain State Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Heron looks for a meal at St Vrain State Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Blue Heron, blue sky

I have a friend that considers these birds to be a throwback to prehistoric Pterodactyls and they certainly do look somewhat similar. They are beautiful birds with massive wingspans near 6 feet across. This one and its mate gave me a very nice flyby coupled with a turn that showcased just how large it is.

A Great Blue Heron showcases its massive wingspan during a flyby. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Heron showcases its massive wingspan during a flyby. (© Tony’s Takes)

Great Blue Heron against a brilliant blue sky

These large birds reside year round in Colorado but they are easiest to find in the warmer months. A mild day this past weekend brought out this beautiful one as it kept watch on a small pond.

These birds have small bodies but are quite tall with massive wingspans that can reach over 6 feet wide. Oftentimes found along shorelines of lakes and calm areas of rivers, Great Blue ?Herons are very adept at plucking fish from the waters.

A Great Blue Heron with a brilliant blue sky behind it. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Heron with a brilliant blue sky behind it. (© Tony’s Takes)

Golden Great Blue Heron

As the sun rose yesterday morning, it turned the landscape into an amazing golden scene.  This Great Blue Heron seemed to be enjoying it as it fished for breakfast at Lagerman Reservoir in Longmont, Colorado.

These birds have small bodies but are quite tall with massive wingspans that can reach over 6 feet wide.  Oftentimes found along shorelines of lakes and calm areas of rivers, Great Blue Herons are very adept at plucking fish from the waters.

A Great Blue Heron greets the golden sunrise. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Heron greets the golden sunrise. (© Tony’s Takes)

Random bird pictures for the day

Certainly my camera is usually focused on raptors or large mammals but every now and then other birds grab my attention. These four are some that I captured images of over the past couple of months.

Great Blue Heron aborted landing. This heron was attempting to land on a very small island at a pond in Longmont, Colorado. Its speed was too great through and it missed the target, splashing its feet in the water for an instant before circling around for another attempt.

Great Blue Heron aborts a landing. (© Tony’s Takes)

Great Blue Heron aborts a landing. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sleepy female Red Winged Blackbird. This little lady was hanging out with a couple dozen of her lady friends in Adams County recently. While the others were raising quite a ruckus, she seemed quite disinterested.

A female Red-Winged Blackbird appears to be catching a nap. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Red-Winged Blackbird appears to be catching a nap. (© Tony’s Takes)

Crow closeup. This Crow was hanging out at Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, making lots of noise as they oftentimes do. I suspect it was used to visitors feeding it and it was simply looking for a meal. It certainly was rather tame allowing me to get a nice closeup.

Closeup of a crow in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Closeup of a crow in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Downy Woodpecker hunts for a meal. While out for a walk I heard some light tapping sounds coming from a nearby tree. Investigating I found this nice looking fellow pecking away at a cottonwood tree.

A Downy Woodpecker looks for a meal on a cottonwood tree. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Downy Woodpecker looks for a meal on a cottonwood tree. (© Tony’s Takes)

Golden light on a Great Blue Heron

Soon after the sun peeked over the horizon, this Great Blue Heron came to roost at a tree adjacent to a suburban lake.  The light was pleasing and this bird looked absolutely gorgeous.

The rest of this morning’s photo excursion wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped but as always, it was great to get out and about and spend some time with Mother Nature.

A Great Blue Heron enjoys a mild morning bathed in golden sunlight. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Heron enjoys a mild morning bathed in golden sunlight. (© Tony’s Takes)

Great Blue Heron comes in for a landing

Found across all but the farthest north reaches of North America, Great Blue Herons can be both beautiful and gangly.

In flight they are gorgeous with slow, steady flaps of their wings that create a massive wingspan six feet.  When they land or take off though, they don’t look quite as graceful.  With those pencil thin legs and long neck stretched, they have an almost prehistoric look to them.

No matter, they are pretty darned cool birds to watch and their blue plumage is gorgeous.

Here, a heron comes in for a landing at a slightly submerged island at Golden Ponds in Longmont, Colorado.  Scroll down to view the complete sequence as well as some images of this bird in flight.

A Great Blue Heron comes in for a landing at Golden Ponds in Longmont, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Heron comes in for a landing at Golden Ponds in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Great Blue Heron takes in the morning sun

This handsome bird was sitting high in a tree yesterday morning watching a pond as the sun came up behind it. The sunrise made for some pleasant, golden lighting.

Usually when I find these birds they are in shallow water so I was happy to capture one in a bit of a different spot. They have wingspans up to 7 feet across but only way 5 or 6 pounds due to their slender frame and hollow bones.

A Great Blue Hero is backlit by the early morning sun.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Hero is backlit by the early morning sun. (© Tony’s Takes)