A Great Blue Heron hunkered down against winter’s brutal cold

/, Davis County, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Great Blue Herons, Utah/A Great Blue Heron hunkered down against winter’s brutal cold

A Great Blue Heron hunkered down against winter's brutal coldA Great Blue Heron hunkered down against winter’s brutal cold – Nikon D300, f9, 1/250, ISO 200, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400m, natural light, not baited

The official temperature at the SLC Airport this morning is 11°F so I guess it is time to pull out the gloves, hats, winter coats, boots and start layering my clothing to stay warm whenever I head out into the field. It even snowed a little in the valley yesterday and the mountains surrounding the valley are sporting white tops.

Last December I photographed this Great Blue Heron as it hunkered down against the brutal cold. I never used to think of Great Blues having to endure harsh winters until I moved here to Utah. When the water freezes over the Great Blue Herons start to hunt voles through the snow and that is fascinating to watch and photograph. When I photographed this Great Blue there was still some open water for it to hunt for prey in, but not much. I felt for the heron because there was still frost on its feathers from the cold night. It made me shiver.

These wading birds are tough!

Now, to find my gloves.

Life is good.



  1. Humming Bird Lover November 20, 2014 at 12:57 pm


    The poor bird looks like some that may still be here and it is so cold here now! Great photo!

  2. Jolanta November 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Poor thing! Very good photo…

  3. Elephant's Child November 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    He does look cold. Very cold.
    At least his coat always fits though…

  4. Jane Chesebrough November 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I notice a lot of birds “puffed up” lately.Our feathered friends are eating constantly to keep their heat and energy up.Even though I knew it was coming ,I waited until the last minute to dig out the boots and mitts, and then it was a scramble.Happy shooting and may your batteries stay warm.

  5. Patty Chadwick November 16, 2014 at 10:33 am

    He looks like me in my down vest these days…

  6. Dave Sparks November 16, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Great detail on the tough bird, incluiding the frost.

  7. Ian Holland November 16, 2014 at 7:41 am

    what is a 1.4 TC?

    • Dave Sparks November 16, 2014 at 9:34 am

      1.4x teleconverter. Gives a 300mm lens, for example, the same field of view as a 420mm (hypothetical) lens.

  8. Nancy Collins November 16, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Beautiful photo Mia!

  9. Lois Bryan November 16, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Gorgeous capture of this beauty!!!! He does indeed look hunkered down!!

  10. Bob Bushell November 16, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Poor old Heron, excellent photo though.

Comments are closed.