Monday, August 22, 2011

Great Blue Heron

The tallest and most common of Herons, the Great Blue lends a certain dignity and calmness to whatever lake, pond, swamp, or mud flat he visits. They can surpass 4 feet in height, and fish expertly with their dagger-like beaks and serpentine necks, always coiled to strike. Despite their impressive physical presence, they're pretty skittish. I've rarely gotten within ideal photo range before they take off, and then they act all indignant and let out their grunt call while they retreat, even though it would probably beat me in a fight.

Notice one of his feet is actually curled up next to his gut. I'm not sure how he fit that legs up that high, but what goes on behind the belly feathers of a Great Blue Heron is one of Nature's greater mysteries.

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