Two Great Birds

Great Egret

 Great Egret Portrait – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 160mm, natural light, not baited

These two “Great” images were taken two minutes apart of two different “Great” wading birds in Florida. The first one I photographed was this Great Egret that was going into breeding plumage, those lores were pretty green but they get greener during the height of mating season. Notice that I was only at 160mm, this bird walked up very close to me. That bill looked dangerously close, glad I don’t look like any of this bird’s prey.

 Great Blue Heron portraitGreat Blue Heron Portrait – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, not baited

This Great Blue Heron was going out of breeding plumage, notice that the lores are a dull gray with a slight blue tint to them, during mating season the lores are a dark blue.

They are “Great” birds!



  1. Merrill Ann Gonzales January 6, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I have just been enjoying viewing your marvelous photos of these two birds for days now. The photo of the great blue confirms something I’ve always suspected… that there seems to be an upturn in the mouth under the eyes that gives it a bit of a smile! Whereas the expression on the face of the great egret is more severe…. Once again… many thanks.

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      You are right Merrill, I never noticed how the upturn of the mouth of the heron makes them look like a smile! Thank you for being a loyal viewer and for your supporting words about my work.

  2. Bryce Robinson January 6, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Great photos Mia. I love the eye of the egret.

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks Bryce, they do have wonderful eyes!

  3. Caroline January 5, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I had no idea that they made this color change. I have photographed egrets before but never saw this beautiful green color!

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Thank you Caroline, both for your comment and for visiting my blog.

  4. hummingbirdlover January 5, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Hi! What great shots! To be so close to get such images is so special a time in ones life!
    You do such great work! Thank you for sharing!

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      Mom, it was and is special to be so close to nature, it helped to heal me as you know. Love you!

  5. M. Firpi January 4, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I love the way you have contrasted these. They are very jealous of their hunting grounds and they must hunt alone. I once saw a Great White trying to “steal” another”s hunting territory, and they both started chasing one other (in the air), fighting for their place in the pond, and making grunting sounds. I”ve seen these battles last for almost an hour. This is of course at a small pond in P.R., in the U.S. they have larger hunting grounds.

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Maria, I have seen those territorial battles too and have found myself holding my breath hoping they didn’t stab each other with those sharp bills!

  6. Susan January 4, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Wow,gorgeous images Mia:)

  7. Azstu January 4, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Amazing images Mia!

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Thank you Tucson Stu 🙂

  8. Sherry in MT January 4, 2013 at 8:11 am

    The egret is stunning and made me go “WOW”. So cool to see the color in the cere but I also love the curves in the one of the heron. Nicely done!

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Thank you Sherry, I like the curves in the heron image too.

  9. Beverly Everson January 4, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Fantastic images, Mia!

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      Thank you Beverly, they are delightful birds.

  10. Bob Bushell January 4, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Absolutely stunning Mia.

  11. Julie Brown January 4, 2013 at 7:31 am

    I don’t think I have ever seen (or noticed) green lores on a Great Egret. As usual, the light and detail on both birds is superb!

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      Julie, the green lores are a fun change with their breeding plumage. Thanks for commenting.

  12. Carol MATTINGLY January 4, 2013 at 7:21 am


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