Tricolored Heron Fishing & Fluffing in the Gulf of Mexico

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Tricolored Herons/Tricolored Heron Fishing & Fluffing in the Gulf of Mexico

A Tricolored Heron fluffing up after fishing in the GulfA Tricolored Heron fluffing up after fishing in the Gulf – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/1500, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 360mm, natural light

Seven years ago I could be found most often walking along the Gulf of Mexico at Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach in search of birds to photograph. By October the temperatures would drop in Florida and actually feel quite comfortable while I wandered around looking for subjects to focus on. Some times the best action was in or near the lagoons and other times the best action was on the Gulf of Mexico’s shoreline.

On October 2, 2008 crashing waves from a distant storm brought the best bird activity on the Gulf side and I spent nearly half an hour photographing a Tricolored Heron searching for prey where the waves met the beach. If the heron got splashed with enough water it would shake off before fishing again.

A Tricolored Heron with its prey in mid airA Tricolored Heron with its prey in mid air – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 310mm, natural light, not baited

I must have seen the Tricolored Heron catch nearly a dozen small fish that morning and I kept hoping that I would catch it tossing the fish just before it swallowed it because that meant I might get to photograph the fish in mid air. Being ready for that kind of shot worked out for me more than once that day with this heron. It pays to know your subject and their behaviors.

Life is good.

Mia

7 Comments

  1. Elephant's Child October 6, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Wow. And it caught a dozen of those birds? There is no justice. If I ate that much I would be totally unable to fly…
    An amazing capture. Thank you.

  2. Bob mcpherson October 6, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Beautiful images Mia

  3. Bev October 6, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Fabulous photos Mia. I love the fluff and the dining action.

  4. Bev October 6, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Fabulous photos Mia

  5. Marilyn Kircus October 6, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Neat to see a bird I love to watch. It will be at least another several days before I’m close enough to the Gulf to see these birds again.

  6. Patty Chadwick October 6, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Wonderful action shot! Looks like one BIG breakfast!!!

  7. Mary Lou Hall October 6, 2015 at 7:03 am

    I am a new “birder” and love to capture them in action. I love your tricolored heron. I have some awesome shots (by my Nikon) but on the other side of Florida at Eustis and Lakeland (Circle B Bar Ranch – excellent birding here). I love your site.

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