A fun pose from this prehistoric looking bird. It was perched on a little island in a pond and clearly not enjoying the heat. With its wings raised and spread partially, it was panting and doing its best to stay cool. These behaviors are common among larger birds, I have even seen bald eagles do it, including the panting.
I don’t fish any more but if I did, I would have been asking this heron for some tips. It clearly was a pro as over the span of 15 minutes it very quickly and efficiently nabbed itself three black crappie, coming up empty on only one attempt.
On one attempt, as you can see, the heron completely skewered the fish with its beak! After each was caught, it very expertly flipped the fish lengthwise and downed them in one gulp.
It was a fun weekend, especially when I can photograph scenes like this right behind our campsite.
A bit of a baseball analogy to this fun scene. I was photographing an unusual gathering of birds at a local pond last Friday.
My main focus was on a beautiful great egret, a bird we only see here in Colorado briefly during migration and not in great numbers. Next to it was a great blue heron, creating a nice contrast. Suddenly, the great egret leapt into the air as a second great blue heron came in to join in the gathering, scaring off the big, white bird in the process.
Such a fun, rare thing to witness, making it well worth braving the cold temperatures and wind at the time.
Taken in Adams County, Colorado.
Well, this was a crazy scene I witnessed yesterday. After receiving my second dose of the COVID vaccine (Moderna), I decided to go for a walk around a local open space. There, I came across this very odd gathering of birds.
In the corner of the pond there were 30+ pelicans, 10+ great blue herons, a few cormorants and even a great egret – all gathered together in a very small area.
Seeing that many pelicans in one area isn’t unusual as they fish in groups. However, great blue herons don’t usually hang out together unless nesting and usually aren’t inclined to tolerate other creatures. I don’t know, but I am guessing a bunch of fish had gathered in the area and everyone was having a feast; that is the only thing that would seem to make sense.
It was definitely something I haven’t witnessed before. It didn’t last long as soon after I started photographing, someone came along the path and that was enough to scare them off resulting in this crazy cacophony of activity. You can see each of the birds I mentioned if you look close.
While these massive, prehistoric-looking birds, can be found in Colorado year-round, they are most common in the spring and I am starting to see more and more. This one was kind enough to give me a nice flyby a couple of days ago.
It was moving from spot to spot at a local pond, stalking the waters looking for a meal. This is where you will usually find these guys – along bodies of water like ponds, lakes and rivers. Most often they will be standing at the water’s edge, watching for movement
Taken on my photo drive this past Monday at the local regional park. I was photographing this pelican when out of the corner of my eye I see the heron taking off from a bit further up the inlet.
I quickly swung my camera and started clicking, grabbing this shot as the pterodactyl-looking heron few by the big-billed pelican.
Both of these birds are common here in Colorado during the summer and provide some great photo opportunities.
These are some crazy cool birds and fun to watch. They remind me of the prehistoric pterodactyl with their skinny bodies, long beak and massive wings. I snapped this pic recently at a suburban pond.
Wind destroyed the rookery a couple of years ago but this year the herons have returned and have at least five nests going. You face south into the nest area so it is hard to get good pics of it but can get some awesome flight shots as the birds fly back and forth to gather stuff for their homes.
When I take pics of flying creatures, I do usually focus on raptors. However, every now and then I will train my lens on less aggressive birds. From ducks to pelicans and meadowlarks to egrets, small and large have all been captured by my camera. Here are some of my favorites from the past year.
I don’t know that I have ever captured a more perfect reflection of any subject matter. This gorgeous heron was hanging out at a pond at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge last weekend.
Despite being close to the road, it didn’t flinch at all when I stopped, remaining totally motionless. Beautiful weather with no wind meant the surface of the water was like a mirror reflecting the heron.
I snapped dozens of pics and compositions, liking this one the best.
I am sure this Great Blue Heron would have preferred the water not being quite so ‘solid.’ It is pretty tough to fish through that ice. 😉
These guys do prefer fish but I have seen them tackle more earthy meals as well like mice and even prairie dogs. This particular one was hanging out on a frozen pond at St. Vrain State Park, Colorado recently, seemingly trying to figure out what / how it was going to eat.
It was watching the fisherman closely so maybe it was just hoping for a handout.