16 December 2008

Great Blue Heron Love

All birders have certain species that they are attached to in some way. And I'm sure at times we have all been guilty of overlooking some of the common species. But I don't know many people that actually dislike a particular species, at least until I met Andy. Andy is my birding partner down in South Florida. We spend many weekend mornings chasing migrants down in Miami-Dade. He's great at spotting movement and we've had some phenomenal birding experiences together. The only flaw I can find in my birding bud is that he hates Great Blue Herons.

I'm not sure where this dislike stems from but he has made it clear that not only does he dislike the bird but he doesn't understand why people take pictures of it. Let's see, maybe it's because this 4 foot bird has a 6 foot wingspan and only weighs about 5 pounds. Maybe people like them because this charismatic mega-fauna is easily identified. People usually like things that they know and are comfortable with. For me, a Great Blue Heron is a treat to see at Green Cay. They are the least populous species of wading bird at the wetlands if you don't count the bitterns. And they even have their own special white morph which can be seen in the Florida Keys.

All photos © Bill Kominsky, used with permission.

This post isn't just about how absurd I think my friend is with his dislike of heron photos. It is also a chance for me to post a few more pictures of this great bird out there on the internets for all to see. Because unlike Andy, I don't know if you can have too many pictures of any kind of bird. I'm just happy people are out there and are interested in something other than themselves. The fact that they are taking pictures of birds, any kind of bird, is great news to me. So next time you walk by one of those common birds, take a second look. Even the Great Blue Herons of the world have something to teach us.


Pam Croom said...

Well duh!! Great blue herons are fantastic-particularly in breeding plumage! Here, in north Alabama, they are abundant. I love kayaking on the river and coming upon one because not only are they majestic, they are comedic grouches. You get too close and they groan an irritated,"Gronk!" and then fly 20 yards down stream. When you catch up with them they are just as astounded as a couple of minutes ago that you would deign disturb them.

My yard herons will let me get within a few yards. Truly beautiful birds!

Susan said...

Hi Eva. I found your blog while working on the newsletter for the Wellington Garden Club. Can't wait to hear you speak at our February meeting.

Great pictures.

Sharon said...

I agree with you Eva. All things in nature deserve a second look. We need to appreciate pay attention to all living things. I am so thankful for places like Green Cay, where their habitats are being preserved for a city girl like me to visit. Thanks for sharing with us on your site.

Eva said...

Pam, I like that description of "comedic grouches." They really do seem to be that way sometimes.

Susan, I look forward to speaking with your group. And I'm glad you dropped in and left a message.

Sharon, no problem. I really get a kick out of documenting what's going on here at the wetlands. Plus it's a great tool for record keeping.