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Great Blue Heron

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)

“Just what do you think you’re doing back there?”

A male Great Blue Heron  gets fresh with his mate.  I am not entirely sure the female was particularly receptive to his overtures though.  😉   These large birds are very entertaining to watch, particularly during mating season when they are interacting like this and building their nests.  Taken March 21, 2105 at Belmar Park in Lakewood, Colorado.

A male and female Great Blue Heron perform some courting in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male and female Great Blue Heron perform some courting in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Great Blue Heron performs pond flyover

I have never known these large birds to be territorial but it sure seemed like I found a pair that just did not want to get along last weekend. To my eye, one clearly felt this small pond was its to use and it did not care for the company of any other herons.

Every time another heron would come along, this one would take off in hot pursuit and chase the other off. At one point there was a definite squabble with a lot of vocalization between the pair – something I unfortunately failed to catch on camera.

The heron did not seem to mind the geese or other birds that were hanging out. In this image the guardian is returning to its preferred spot where it was maintaining watch on the water.

A Great Blue Heron flies over a pond while a Canada Goose swims in the background.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Heron flies over a pond while a Canada Goose swims in the background. (© Tony’s Takes)

Random pics from the first clear day in a week

After seven straight days of rain (and snow one day), I was going stir crazy. With the sun shining and the temperatures finally warming up I went for a much-needed walk in an open space area where I often go. Nothing particularly extraordinary on this trip but my goodness it was nice to get out and about finally!?

Just me and my shadow

A Great Blue Heron stands in an irrigation ditch as the early morning sun reflects its shadow.  I was driving a rural road that I frequently go on looking for raptors.  Much to my surprise I found this beautiful bird hanging out.  Unfortunately it only gave me time for this one picture before it took off.  Taken in Adams County, Colorado.

A Great Blue Heron is bathed in the early morning sun.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Heron is bathed in the early morning sun. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Pterodactyl flyby.  No, not really…

Pterodactyl flyby.  No, not really, but I have a friend that says Great Blue Herons remind him of the prehistoric dinosaur and I can’t say that I entirely disagree.  😉

These birds have small bodies but 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.

I took this image at Belmar Park in Lakewood, Colorado, USA last month as the herons had just arrived for the season and were busy working on their nests.

A Great Blue Heron performs a flyby on its way to find nesting material.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Heron performs a flyby on its way to find nesting material. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Great Blue Heron returns from a trip to Home Depot

Watching these large, gangly birds work on their nests is pretty entertaining. This one was dutifully going out, grabbing material and returning it to the nest. Its mate would then take it and place it in just the right spot.

Taken at Belmar Park in Lakewood, Colorado.

A Great Blue Heron returns to the nest with some building material.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Blue Heron returns to the nest with some building material. (© Tony’s Takes)