Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Statuesque Great Blue Heron

When visiting the west coast of Florida, one of the most common birds I see are majestic Great Blue Herons. Lush green mangrove islands, small and large ponds, flowing creeks, vast golf courses and white, powdery beaches are just a few of the areas where I have observed these long-necked birds. In the Sunshine State, Great Blue Herons seem to be a lot more comfortable with human presence than they are here in the Midwest, thus they make for great photography subjects. Without a doubt, these striking herons are one of my favorite birds to capture images of. Do you have a bird that you are particularly fond of photographing?

A Great Blue Heron couple engage in a stunning courtship display

More courtship behavior between the beautiful couple

Tender moments atop the mangrove bush

The striking profile of a Great Blue Heron

Grace in motion

A Great Blue Heron masters the art of ingesting an especially sizable fish

One day while taking a stroll at Longboat Key Club Moorings, I came across the above heron with quite a large catch.

Perfect placement

It took a few minutes to manage the fish into this position.

Down the hatch!

Five minutes later, the fish was swallowed whole. I am always amazed at how Great Blue Herons can eat such large prey.

A female heron places a branch in the nest

This stunning couple was seen at the Venice Rookery. The male would fly to an abandoned nest, snatch a limb and bring it back for the female to use in constructing her platform nest.

Great Blue Heron with Flounder

Great Blue Herons always enhance the tropical scenery

Three ungainly juvenile Great Blue Herons wait impatiently for a parent to return with a tasty treat

Close-up of a young heron

A smooth landing

A gawky Juvenile tests its impressive wings

A Great Blue Heron in a meditative pose soaks up the glorious sun

Post by Julie Gidwitz


  1. Sweet shots of a great species! I do love the "sun worshiping" posture these birds sometimes make.

  2. I love GBHEs. I witnessed a bufflehead accidently flush one out and when the heron cried out, sounded prehistoric. it was awesome!

  3. such amazing photographs of the wonderful herons. I was really surprised at the SIZE of the fish catch!!

  4. Wow. Fantastic shots, Julie. That is a prodigious meal the heron is gulping. You captured some great poses, and particularly in the first and last photos.

  5. Fabulous and varied series of photos! Up here in Canada we typically see them in the shallows fishing.

  6. Nice photos, Julie! I have been watching to see if you made the trip ... glad you did! :o)

  7. Beautiful shots of the heron! Nice details in the courtship. Looks like you found a great spot.

  8. Julie, these are amazing shots! What a fun bird to see and photograph! They are just starting to return to Maine and I have seen at least 4 together flying overhead as they return.