These two Great Blue Heron juveniles have grown tall and are almost ready to fledge. They were watching anxiously for parents to come deliver food (no luck), and the brave one was trying to jump and fly.
Like the Bald Eagle, the Great Blue Heron grows to nearly full size before it can fly and catch its own food. I find this stage fun to observe, photograph and share.
A young child near me asked, “What are they doing?” Without taking my eye away from the camera, or my finger off the shutter button, I replied, “Making new Great Blue Herons.” I cannot not tell you how lucky I felt in that moment, to photograph this very special scene.
This photographer was ready at the right place, the right time feeling very grateful to make my favorite photograph of the season in Southwest Florida. If you are interested in owning a print, please contact Cathy Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Observing a Great Blue Heron pair in Venice, Florida, I witnessed some special body language. It was an hour before sunset in March when this scene unfolded.
In the next blog post, I will share some rare photographs of the pair mating. I was super excited to be ready to capture this moment with my camera mounted on the tripod with all the right exposure and focus settings, ready to click.
“I’m hungry, Mama!” seems to be the universal cry of the baby. Just look at those big yellow beaks on the young American Egrets in the nest. I just love their scruffy appearance as the new feathers develop. They are neither elegant or silent yet — characteristic of the adults.
These baby egrets have not fledged yet and depend on the parents to deliver food. They seem to be getting restless as they wait for their feathers to develop. It is exciting to witness the dynamics of nesting season in Southwest Florida.
As an eyewitness to a bird in flight, I know the beauty we see is fleeting. In the blink of an eye, the sighting is a memory — as long as I didn’t blink! On the other hand, two photographs taken in quick succession can be studied, savored and enjoyed forever.
As a wildlife photographer, capturing a continuous series of a bird in flight is one of my goals, since I love seeing those beautiful wings outstretched. That’s not to mention the rewarding feeling of meeting the challenge of focus and freezing action of a fast moving subject!
Contrast these views with the serene beauty of the Great Blue Heron at rest, as it watches the water for a fish to catch.
April is the month for baby birds to hatch, and Southwest Florida is now alive with chirping sounds. Of course, we humans need to keep our distance and give plenty of space and security to all the birds in their nests. Let me assure you that I have a long telephoto lens, and I also crop my files to bring you a close up, while maintaining a respectful distance.
This stately Great Blue Heron stands astride an adorable hatchling, just a few inches tall, yet very alert and watching me. The sight of this nest with mother and chick was a very special first for me. I hope the photo brings you a sense of wonder and delight.
Prints are available; please contact email@example.com for details. More nesting photos to come!
Dear Beautiful Heron, Please watch your step as you tiptoe silently through the long grasses and past the purple thistle. Do you remember those baby alligators that you like to eat? When they grow up, those big alligators might take a bite out of you. If they catch you, they will eat you whole, feathers and all.
Also silently lurking nearby in the grass is this large alligator. If he is hungry, the Great Blue Heron could be his next meal. Yikes! The food chain is merciless.
What they say is true. The early bird gets the best light. (Maybe the worm too.). Patches of golden light filtered through the trees and lit this Great Blue Heron standing erect in the marsh. An hour later this soft, golden light was just a memory, or in this case, a photograph.
Before leaving Florida for the season, I want to share a series of photos of the unique Reddish Egret. It’s a medium sized heron with a mane of elongated reddish feathers, a pink translucent beak and a cool way of dancing while foraging. You can find them in the salt water shallows foraging at low tide.
I observed this adult breeding reddish egret on Sanibel Island at J. N. Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve in February 2020. My friend marveled at the bushy neck plumage, asking, “Are you sure that’s not hair?”