I always joke that I don’t photograph “little birds” because they are boring. That isn’t entirely true. While I may not focus on them regularly, when the opportunity is there I certainly will snap pics of them. They just require more patience than I have most times. 😉 Some, like hummingbirds, are a real challenge while the American white pelican is kind of goofy looking but just beautiful.
Great blue heron chills out on the ice
November here on the Colorado Front Range has been unusually cold, causing some ponds and lakes to start to freeze over earlier than normal. For birds like great blue herons that largely feed on fish, this can be a bit frustrating as their meals will be safely tucked under the ice. This particular one seemed a bit less than thrilled with the bone chilling cold of a recent morning, stoically standing on one leg on the ice of a frozen pond and looking none to happy about it.
Great blue heron stands alone as the waters rush by
Great blue heron stands alone as the waters rush by. Taken along the South Platte River this past weekend. This heron and found itself some high ground to stake out and keep watch as the river’s waters flowed right by. It seems like this is one of those images that could be used for some sort of bigger philosophical message but, for now, I’ll just say that I like it a lot.
Pelican pursues a heron for its fish
This was something I hadn’t seen before. Pelicans can definitely be aggressive in trying to steal a meal from other birds, usually choosing to go after cormorants. I had never seen one try to steal from a great blue heron though, let alone set off in pursuit of it in the air.
This heron caught itself a huge fish and no doubt was looking forward to the meal but the pelican had its eyes on the prize as well. The pelican chased it for a good ways and eventually the heron dropped the fish, living both empty handed.
Kind of a “content over quality” series as the pics aren’t the best with the action taking place a long ways away and not in good light but it was fun to see.
Great blue heron skewers a bluegill
A nice breakfast for the bird, not such a great morning for the fish. 😉
Yesterday morning I happened across this beautiful heron and it was clearly looking for a meal. As is typical for them, the heron moved very slowly and deliberately, focused on the water and any hint of movement. It moved into the reeds and when it emerged, it had a nice, little meal.
Solitude on a cold, lonely winter’s day
A moody scene that conjures up a variety of emotions in me when I view the image and one that I really like. Taken last weekend, I opted for a wide view of this great blue heron. It had paused as it walked across a cold and wind-swept icy pond, finding itself alone, out in what seems like the middle of nowhere. A very minimalist photo but one that, to me, has a lot in it.
Great blue heron performs a picture-perfect flyby
These massive birds are more associated with the summer here in Colorado but some do stick around throughout the colder months if there is open water for them. A friend saw this one take flight when we were hiking looking for critters and much to our delight, it took a turn and flew right by us. The image does a nice job showcasing its huge 6 foot wingspan and that beautiful blue / gray plumage.
Great blue heron nabs a crawdad
A fun little bit of action here. While sitting on the shore of a lake, waiting for a photo opportunity to develop, this young great blue heron flew in and landed nearby. I figured it was on a mission and soon it began slowly walking the shoreline, watching the water for a meal.
In an instant, its head dove into the water and emerged with a crawdad in its beak. I had hoped it would toss and flip it but instead the heron just maneuvered the crustacean directly to its mouth and down the hatch whole.
Great blue heron tries to cool its armpits
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.
Great blue heron displays professional fishing skills
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.