Great Blue Heron Close-Up

by Larry Jordan on November 20, 2012

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) photos by Larry Jordan

A couple of weeks ago at Lema Ranch I came upon a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) fishing in Leah’s Pond. As is usual for this species, this heron was standing still and waiting for its prey most of the time and slowly walking through the shallow water otherwise, looking for anything that would fit down its throat.

Lema Ranch has many walkers and joggers that traverse the grounds and some of the local birds are fairly tolerant of visitors.

One thing that I really like about digiscoping is that it allows me to get close-up views of birds without disrupting their natural behavior.

Great Blue Herons are a very adaptive species, feeding on a wide array of animals including fish, insects, mammals, amphibians, birds and crustaceans1. Just get a load of that beak!

I shot a video of this bird fishing Leah’s pond. As you can see, most of its time was spent motionless, waiting for prey to show itself. He or she did slowly wade through the water also but caught the one fish I saw it catch at the end of the video by standing in wait. Enjoy!

To see more great birds, check out The Bird D’pot and Wild Bird Wednesday!

References: 1Birds of North America Online

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

TexWisGirl November 20, 2012 at 8:56 am

great shots, larry! love these beauties!

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Mia McPherson November 20, 2012 at 10:41 am

Love these close ups Larry! Great Blues are awesome wading birds.

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Adam Jones November 20, 2012 at 11:42 am

Nice close ups.

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Pia November 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Love your photos of this favourite bird of mine!
And a fantastic film too! I really appreciate to see exactly how it takes the fish. Yesterday I also stood and watched a heron standing just still for a long time, so I almost thought it was a statue!
Greetings Pia

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Mick November 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Beautiful bird and a great series of photos.

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Gail November 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm

These are great shots! I loved seeing him catch the fish at the end of the vid. They certainly are patient hunters.

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Rohrerbot November 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

You are practically kissing this bird!:) They are so hard to approach without them flying off:) Nice work!!!

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Eileen November 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Awesome closeups, Larry! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Brian King November 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Love these! Great Blue’s are one of my favorites!

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Stewart M November 21, 2012 at 1:58 am

Great set of shots – I’m going to have to give digi-scoping a go.
There seem to be a lot of herons on WBW this week.

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW – Stewart M – Melbourne

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Pat November 21, 2012 at 11:13 am

Wonderful close-ups!

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Wally November 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Nice article and photos. The video shows the heron knows what makes a good fisherman – lots of patience!

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