Sunday, August 19, 2012

Great Blue Heron

By Joann M. Ringelstetter

Three years ago in August, as we were wrapping up a day of photographing in the Stoughton area, we came by a pond where a Great Blue Heron was standing in the water fairly close to the gravel road on which we were traveling. As is usually the case, my camera was in the back seat and it didn’t have my wildlife lens on it.

Since the heron appeared to be busy stalking fish, I slowly backed the car up quite a distance so that I could get out of the car and rummage in the back seat without disturbing him. After getting my camera ready and putting the window down, I pulled forward again until I could get a good shot of the heron.

After a couple of shots, a noisy car came past, causing the heron to take flight. I thought that was all I was going to get, but then realized he had landed in a much better spot and was again stalking fish. So, again, I pulled the car forward and fired away as he fished for lunch. And then we saw him pull a small fish out of the water.

You will often see Great Blue Herons foraging for fish in shallow waters and they are usually alone. They are the largest of the North American herons, standing about four feet tall and with a wingspan in flight of around six feet.

Next time you pass a small body of water, look closely and you just might see a Great Blue Heron standing or stalking in the water.

Happy Shunpiking!