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May 21, 2011 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Great Blue Heron

Last month I was working in my yard when I saw a large bird fly overhead. It was a Great Blue Heron, a large bluish gray bird with an S-shaped neck, long legs and shaggy feathers on their neck and back.

There is a heron rookery along the river near my house. I am amazed how they build their nests in colonies high in the trees. I counted over 20 nests. I watched one of them fly into the nest in the center of the photo. (Click photo for a larger view.) With my binoculars I could see 3 chicks.

Blue Heron Rookery

Several of the birds were fishing in the river. I watched one catch and swallow a fish; swallowed it whole. Although they eat primarily fish, they will also eat small rodents.

Great Blue Heron

This bird was just roosting on a branch and taking in some sun. I like this shot because it shows off his neck feathers.

Great Blue Heron

I couldn’t get any closer to them because the entrance to the woods on the other side of the river was closed for construction for a few weeks. I’ll be going back soon to hopefully get some photos of the chicks when they leave the nest.
 


I link up my bird photos on Saturday Snapshot hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.

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23 Comments

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  1. laurelrainsnow / May 21 2011 3:54 am

    Fabulous shots! You must live in a beautiful place…thanks for sharing.

    Here’s MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT

    Like

  2. Kay / May 21 2011 4:28 am

    I can’t believe how beautiful your bird photos are. Like something on the Discovery Channel. Leslie, you have such a gift and I’m glad you share it with us!

    Like

  3. Col (Col Reads) / May 21 2011 6:24 am

    Fantastic capture of the fish in the heron’s mouth. Love it!

    Like

  4. Mary / May 21 2011 6:40 am

    These are wonderful! I’ve seen the herons before but never their nests.

    Like

  5. Karen @ Scobberlotch / May 21 2011 7:12 am

    You can almost HEAR the atmosphere in these photos. Wonderful!

    Like

  6. BermudaOnion / May 21 2011 7:14 am

    Wow, that bottom photo looks like a painting. We had a hawk perch on our deck last year – I wish you’d been here to take a photo for us.

    Like

  7. Diane@BibliophileBytheSea / May 21 2011 7:23 am

    These are fabulous. I’d be curious as to what type of camera/lens you use? I am in the market for a new camera.

    Like

    • Leslie / May 21 2011 11:12 pm

      The camera is a Canon Rebel XSi and the lens is a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS.

      Like

  8. Sheila (Book Journey) / May 21 2011 9:24 am

    That is really awesome – I had no idea they bult their nests so close together….. very cool!

    Like

  9. Alyce / May 21 2011 9:44 am

    I love watching Blue Herons! I grew up near the coast and there were often herons in the creek behind our house. Beautiful photos!

    Like

  10. Sherrie / May 21 2011 10:53 am

    Hi!
    They are beautiful! Have a great day!

    Sherrie
    Just Books

    Like

  11. Leeswammes / May 21 2011 11:02 am

    Beautiful pictures! We have herons near where I live, at least I see them at the lake side regularly. I think they are such beautiful birds. I’ve never noticed their nests.

    Like

  12. dyane / May 21 2011 11:06 am

    great shots Leslie! I’ve never seen a heron’s nest in real life.

    Like

  13. Suko / May 21 2011 1:15 pm

    More gorgeous photos, Leslie! Your yard must be spectacular to host such incredible birds.

    Like

  14. mostraum / May 21 2011 2:08 pm

    Those are great shots of some beautiful birds. I really love watching herons. I saw one flying overhead today, but not close up unfortunately.

    Like

  15. Faith / May 21 2011 2:19 pm

    Amazing shots! Especially love the one with the fish in it’s beak.

    Here’s My Saturday Snapshot

    Like

  16. Bev@My Reader's Block / May 21 2011 2:47 pm

    those are great pictures! Are there six birds in that first one? Amazing!

    Here’s mine: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/05/saturday-snapshot-may-21.html

    Like

    • Leslie / May 22 2011 12:24 am

      I see six or seven. It’s kind of like Where’s Waldo counting them all.

      Like

  17. Lee / Wild Mountain / May 21 2011 10:25 pm

    Astonishing! Can’t wait to see your shots of the chicks.

    Like

  18. Leslie / May 22 2011 12:33 am

    Thanks for the lovely comments everyone.

    Like

  19. Elizabeth / May 22 2011 6:22 pm

    What beautiful photos…nature is so wonderful.

    Like

  20. Bere / May 22 2011 9:13 pm

    Wow, these photos are wonderful! =)

    Like

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  1. Weekend Birding: The Teenagers | Under My Apple Tree

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