Our Visiting Great Blue Heron – Part 1

Time flies when you’re having fun!  So sorry I’ve been AWOL from my blog, the ending summer has me trying to cram everything in before it’s over!  Nonetheless, I’ve not slowed down taking photos of the visiting wildlife around me.  My files are overflowing!  šŸ™‚

In my last post, an Osprey Update, I had shared this photo of an osprey and Great Blue Heron staring each other down at the osprey platform.  Neither not wanting to leave, but the osprey just cannot tolerate a Great Blue Heron in his ‘space’ and he finally swooped at him to try to persuade him to go.

Sometimes not, but the Great Blue Heron had won that time at keeping his post in the water when the osprey tried to attack him, he wasn’t so easily giving in!

There may be more than one, but for the past few months, a Great Blue Heron has been almost a daily visitor along our berm, either fishing or resting.  Most times I just watch him through my binoculars as he perches for hours at a time.  And many of those times I’ve had my tripod set up on my balcony, looking to capture some of those odd and neat looking poses that aren’t normally shared.  He/they hardly ever disappoint!  I even discovered the other morning before sunrise, he was perched on the osprey nest platform.  Wish I could have gotten that photo but it was too dark.

Since I’m so far behind, I’ll do a two-part post to get started AND to not overload you.  I’ve got that unfortunate problem of not being able to pick just a few to share.  šŸ™‚

I’ll begin with what I thought was a cute shot of a Red-Winged Blackbird hanging alongside the Great Blue Heron.  Neither bothering the other.  The best of buddies!

Red-Winged Blackbird and Great Blue Heron

A week later they were no longer the best of buds…..the Red-Winged Blackbird didn’t want the Great Blue Heron at the base of the osprey platform this time around!  It was comical seeing this large heron squawking while he tried to get away from the ‘big bad’ blackbird who chased him, LOL.

Great Blue Heron being chased by a Red-Winged Blackbird

How about some more Great Blue Heron flight shots!

When the Great Blue Heron isn’t coming and going, one thing he’s doing is searching for dinner.  Most times I’ll watch him grab and swallow a fish whole.  But how about a crab?

Great Blue Herons love Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs too!

Or turtles??  I must confess, I was a bit aghast watching him devour a dozen or so he found in a nest at the berm and seeing the poor little turtles’ four little legs flailing!

Great Blue Heron has found a nest of baby turtles

This little turtle had no chance!

Nor this one!

Great Blue Heron swallowing a whole baby turtle.

The Great Blue Heron has also spent hours preening his feathers.  Sometimes I’m amazed at how they can stretch their necks and reach all over their body.

Not sure what he was looking for here!  But my good blogger friend, Deb (aka Trek Ohio), commented he looked like he was taking a bow.  After all the photo ops he gave me, I do believe he is!

After preening, he’ll rest while he basks in the sunlight with this odd pose.

Along with a little stretching to keep him limber….

And a good feather ruffling to bring in a little air to the skin….

And finally, a scratch or two to take care of an itch.

I love the Great Blue Heron, their beauty and stature are gorgeous, but they can also give some funny and odd poses on occasion as these photos.  I hope you enjoyed them and thank you for your continued following, I appreciate it!

34 thoughts on “Our Visiting Great Blue Heron – Part 1

  1. Great series of pictures of the GBH Donna!
    I like to photograph that bird too! It’s always good to hear from you! šŸ™‚

  2. Those are great flight shots of the heron with nice lighting. Yup the little birds are sure giving the bigger ones a tough time as I have witnessed in a few blogs.And what a good diet that GBH has.Thanks for sharing..

  3. I really like the two photos of the GBH headed for the sun – beautiful! The whole post was most enjoyable and the poses are odd and wonderful. I do agree that baby turtles as lunch are a no-no. Thanks for sharing, and so glad you are having a good end of summer time.

    • Thanks Beth! Everyone’s feeling for the baby turtles like I did! šŸ™‚ When I started shooting, and then looked in the binoculars to see just what he was eating, I think my mouth fell to the floor in a gasp when I saw the little legs flailing as he swallowed one after another. I wanted to holler at the GBH no! lol

  4. I never get tired of studying your blue heron photos either… don’t ever worry about “overloading us”… These are like potato chips… you can’t eat just one. Every photo you post gives an interesting insight into the movements of the birds… if they are too posed, we lose a lot… so I’m glad for all the shots you post.

  5. I really enjoyed your photo series. I think my favorite was watching the red-winged blackbird chasing the heron.

    And you know the one that you captioned, “Not sure what he was looking for here!” — I think he looks like he’s taking a bow. šŸ™‚

    • Thanks Deb! It was really funny seeing that little RWB really going after the heron, I took several photos but only got that one clear enough to share. I love that he’s ‘taking a bow’, excellent thought. I’m going to update the photo with that, compliments of you! šŸ™‚

  6. Superb shots! Seems he will eat just about anything, I once photographed a seagull with a whole 2 foot watersnake halfway down his gullet..:-)

    • Thanks Ed! OMG, that had to be an awesome photo op! I actually got some shots of another heron down the road eating about a foot long snake a few weeks ago, but that’s a way bit too much for a gull, lol. You’ll have to share it one day!

  7. WOW! How exciting to watch them (with the camera too) you are amazing dear Donna, fascinated me your photographs, especially number 8! The wings… amazing. Thank you, love, nia

    • As big as he is, you’d think he’d stand out but he doesn’t, he’s pretty good at blending in with the tall marsh grass. I’ve watched him stand really really still while someone walks right by him on our paved walking path. And I can tell the person usually doesn’t even see him, so with no eye contact from them, he’ll stay put. I’ve got the overhead advantage of looking down over him from a distance and spotting him. He positively knows I’m on my balcony, on occasion he flashes me the evil eye! šŸ™‚ Apparently the delicacies around our point aren’t too easily given up by him. Thanks David!

  8. Hi Donna, You have captured really nice shots of the Great Blue Heron. I have a resident heron here where I live and enjoy seeing the big bird often. Your pictures are just excellent. Glad you also have the heron near.

    • Thanks so much! I’m enjoying your GBH Hank’s photos, aren’t they fun to watch every day?! Last fall I named ours Blake the Blue Heron, after several months when he finally disappeared for the middle of winter, I missed him, he was like part of the ‘family’ lol. Have no idea if this resident GBH is Blake, but it always seems more fun to name them. šŸ™‚

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