Great Blue Herons

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Our July has been hot and humid, with temps reaching the 90’s, making it feel like a 100°F plus.

Great Blue Herons got it right being by and in the water all day long.  Standing on the shore drenched in my own sweat, I feel tempted to join them!

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Great Blue Heron at sunrise
Eastern Neck NWR

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Great Blue Heron preparing to strike
Chesapeake Farms

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The Strike

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Good soaking but no success

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Shake it off to try again

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Great Blue Heron success
Chesapeake Farms

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Great Blue Heron trying to catch a breeze
Eastern Neck NWR

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Another tasty meal (eel, snake, or salamander)
Eastern Neck NWR

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Great Blue Heron
Eastern Neck NWR

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48 thoughts on “Great Blue Herons

  1. Great photos, all of them! There is also a GBH at our local lake. I only saw it catch one small fish in all these years, but he is still there all year, so it must be going well otherwise.

  2. 👏👏👏📷🦩🤗 beautiful captures. When I can’t go to the water, the water always comes to me…it’s been raining steadily for the third day. The weather in our region jumps from extreme to extreme. Have You a wonderful weekend dear Donna🌞📷🐦🤗

    • Thank you, Martha! 🙂 I was thinking of you a week or so ago, I’ve been trying to capture butterflies at ENNWR in their CBay Butterfly Garden. The heat has been extreme, the marsh flies don’t help, ugh. There’s not been a big volume of flowers either, maybe that’ll come late summer/early fall. I’m hoping to post my collection to date in another week or so, going to try to get there one more time first. 🙂

  3. Awwww, these are fantastic, Donna! We are in our monsoon season here. Maybe not quite as humid as you are, but we are used to SUPER dry weather, so it feels very humid. But, every day it’s exciting to see if we get a rainstorm, because we are behind in our rain. Just like you, we go out anyway! 😊

    • Thank you, Lisa! I remember experiencing the very dry weather midwest in our travels and 100 degrees was so bearable. But when a monsoon came on suddenly, we felt that humidity too, ewww just like home. lol 🙂

  4. Wonderful series, Donna. Brava to you for tolerating the uncomfortable heat. I’m wondering if the next to the last shot might have been an eel? A tasty treat indeed.

    • Thank you very much, Eliza! I do go out as early as I can, 7-7:30am. By 10, I have to stop, the humidity and darn marsh flies win. lol Re the last shot of the long prey, that’s another good idea, very probable and makes more sense. I took over 100 photos and studied my best ones as the GBH fought the prey. The GBH actually swallowed it twice, the prey tried coming back up and the GBH spit it back out onto the ground, going after it again. Would an eel try to wrap around the heron’s beak also? That happened a lot. The prey’s tail seems to have a flat/whip end, much like an eel, but I didn’t see any fins anywhere. White belly, some white spots. Thought I could see two forward small legs in a few shots as it wriggled wildly. I wasn’t sure but knew it was something with a fight! LOL I’ll add eel to my photo, as always thank you for your knowledge and help, my friend!!! 🥰

      • I’d guess it was an eel- with flat end, small front fins. It put up a good fight! No longer common in the bay– apparently, they’ve been overfished, so now being better regulated.

  5. The GBH are very much the favorite waders to take pictures. They always keep their cool and they do not get scared with humans. Great photos, Donna. 🙂

  6. A wonderful collection showing off the GBH, Donna. Love the radar dish pose! I often call other herons my favorite (of the moment), but deep down the Great Blue is at the top of my list.

    This heat is something else, with no night time cooling — 80 degrees at 7 this morning.

    • Thank you very much, Ellen! I agree with you, for us all the other herons are less abundant, so I am searching for them. But I do have a fondness for GBHs, they were my Mom’s favorite, I was always photographing them for her. (Still am, sending to heaven! 🥰)

      Oh, the heat is awful, those darn marsh flied too, I have to stop by 10 a.m., I literally start to feel bad, even with water and protein intake. I’ve backed off on hiking til this summer heat is over. I don’t know how you guys do it!!

  7. Are the salamanders that big there? Swallowing something that long must be a little challenging as it must fill the entire length of the neck/gullet and wriggle like crazy.

    • We do have big salamanders, but after discussing with Eliza in comments, I think it’s more probable an eel. I took over 100 photos of the action, the prey was swallowed two other times before the final swallow, but the prey started coming back out of the GBH mouth and the GBH would spit it out, going after it again. The prey had wrapped around the beak several times too. Crazy fight, but the GBH won in the end after some long, hard swallowing. Then s/he walked off to another spot to fish some more.

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