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.
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.