Monday, June 1, 2009

Great Blue Heron

These large wading birds are the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). They are a common sight near lakes, ponds and slow moving bodies of water. Their long legs standing in the water near the shoreline waiting for passing fish. They will stand perfectly motionless, then with a speed seemingly unbelievable for such a large bird they will pierce the fish with that long sword-like beak. They gobble the fish down whole, letting it slide down their throat. They are very wary of humans and will fly away at the slightest disturbance. This makes it very difficult to get a good picture. These pictures were taken at Happy Holler Conservation Area fishing lake yesterday. Joey and I were kayaking around the lake and spotted several of these birds standing along the shore. I tried several times, quite unsucessfully I might add to get photos of these skittish birds. Finally I was able to approach one that seemed a little more tolerant of my presence and I captured two photos before he flew off out of sight around a bend in the lake. While these aren't perfect photos, they are good enough to show their beauty and gracefulness.

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