A Great Blue Heron’s gift

A Great Blue Heron's giftA Great Blue Heron’s gift – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm at 100mm, natural light

Yesterday while I was reprocessing some files I had taken on January 1, 2009 I came across this Great Blue Heron image I had taken at Fort De Soto County Park. By January in Florida the Great Blue Herons are already going into breeding plumage, have begun courtship displays and have started building their nests. I was walking in a wooded area on New Year’s Day and in the distance saw a Great Blue Heron flying in with a small branch in his bill but I wasn’t able to get a clear shot until he was flying almost directly over my head because of the trees that surrounded me. After I took this photo the male Great Blue Heron landed on a branch in a tree where the female was waiting for him and he presented his gift to her. In January the courtship of Great Blue Herons at Fort De Soto is in full swing.

A Great Blue Heron on a January day in UtahA Great Blue Heron on a January day in Utah – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/4000, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 328mm, natural light

This is what the Great Blue Herons are doing in Utah on our cold January days. Ah well, they will also be thinking about courtship in just a few weeks when the snow and ice melts and the days grow longer and warmer.



  1. Sonja Ross January 6, 2014 at 1:20 am

    That plumage detail in the winter one is just beautiful. I’m hoping to become acquainted with these impressive birds either later this month or in February, and these make me hope even more.

  2. Jane Chesebrough January 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    What a difference between the two, one so warm and the other so cold. Like both shots as well as Elephant’s Child’s’ comment. It is a gift all ways.

  3. Elephant's Child January 5, 2014 at 11:56 am

    The heron’s gift translates beautifully in a gift to you, and to us. Thank you.

  4. Lois Bryan January 5, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Amazing and beautiful images!!!!

  5. John Randall January 5, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Wonderful images Mia !

  6. Utahbooklover January 5, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Quite a contrast but, as you say, warmer days will come. Fabulous in flight photo and interesting commentary too Mia.

  7. patty chadwick January 5, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Love it! We discovered a new rookery not far from where we live last spring. It was located in the middle of a swamp, in a place where very few visitors could see them..big, loosely constructed nests, watched over by huge, prehistoric looking, hunched over birds…lots of activity…flying back and forth, searching for and returning with nesting material…it was thrilling to see them.

  8. Montanagirl January 5, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Beautiful photos, Mia. I just can’t believe those Herons stay where it gets really cold, snowy and frozen. I always thought they went way south for some reason. The one we had here died when the cold weather hit, but it had a broken wing, and the pond it was hanging out at, froze over – so no food either.

  9. Bob Bushell January 5, 2014 at 5:06 am

    Beautiful, just beautiful.

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