Great Blue Heron Flight over North Beach

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Great Blue Herons, Pinellas County/Great Blue Heron Flight over North Beach

Great Blue Heron in flight with trees in the backgroundGreat Blue Heron in flight with trees in the background – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 640, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

I’m still working at moving the last of my bird images from the old galleries to the new gallery format and at this point I have some of the terns, cardinals & allies and wading birds left to move. The wading birds will take the longest because there are so many of them but I have completed the Great Blue Herons and a few others. While editing other wading bird images I came across this file that I hadn’t ever processed and decided that I should.

When I first looked at it I felt it was a bit dark compared to the images I had taken of Great Blue Herons in Florida most of which had bright skies, white sand and bright blue water or they were touched with the golden light of dawn. This Great Blue Heron was in flight over the north beach with dark Australian Pines in the background on a foggy morning.  I liked the position of the wings and the more I look at it the more I like those dark trees in the background and how well the heron stands out from them.

The Australian Pines are no longer there, because they were invasive and prevented native plants from growing underneath them they were removed some time ago. As much as I enjoyed walking underneath them when I was leaving the north beach I understand why they had to go.

Life is good.



  1. Pepe Forte June 29, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Hi Mia,

    Wonderful shot. The detail and composition in all your work is simply stunning.



  2. Mia McPherson June 28, 2016 at 5:22 am

    Thank you all for your comments, they are much appreciated.

  3. Mary McAvoy June 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Hi Mia,
    You have wonderfully captured my all-time favorite bird to photograph. When I first saw this prehistoric bird about ten years ago, it cast a spell on me. Since then I have worked diligently to get photos of it that capture its graceful elegance in flight, its barbaric hunting, and its mind-boggling size v.s. weight. (It’s like the model balsa wood airplane my father taught me to build as a child. With a head to toe height of 3-4 feet and a wingspan of 5-6 feet, it weighs a mere 7 lbs.) I’ve watched (and photographed) it spear a ten inch bass with its beak, then carry it away in flight for a leisurely dinner in the shade of the shore of a pond.
    Last fall while on an airboat in the Florida everglades, while we tourist were supposed to be looking into the water to see baby alligators, I spied a heron far in the distance. My full attention went to it and I was able to track it in flight. I posted about the experience at my blog TheRipestPics dot com. I freely admit I have no training in photography. So if you visit this post, know ahead of time you are entering the photographic realm of an enthusiastic amateur!!! 🙂
    Thanks, Mia, for sharing this great shot! And for the history of the background trees.

    • Mia McPherson June 28, 2016 at 5:21 am

      Mary, thanks for the link, your stories about these big wading birds and for helping to answer Linda’s question.

  4. Elephant's Child June 27, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Majestic and beautiful. And awe inspiring. (Not a phrase I use lightly)

  5. Linda Laugen June 27, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Took my breath away, and I immediately noted and appreciated the dark background and the clarity of the bird-capture against it! You called attn. to and focus on this bird in a most creative way! Can you tell me if something I heard once is true – that herons fly with their legs straight out and cranes with their legs tucked in? THANKS – on all accounts!

    • Mary McAvoy June 27, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Hi Linda,
      My understanding about the heron is that it flies with its head tucked in, unlike other birds (like the Canada goose) that flies with its neck elongated. I don’t know about its leg/feet in flight but I’m going to start to observe that.

      • Utahbooklover June 27, 2016 at 11:51 pm

        Interesting observation Mary. A splendid image Mia—of a favorite of mine too.

    • Mia McPherson June 28, 2016 at 5:19 am

      Linda, all wading birds fly with their legs straight out but some do tuck their heads closer to their bodies and some fly with their necks straight. Cranes, which are gruiformes, fly with their legs straight out behind them and their necks are straight out too.

  6. Jane Chesebrough June 27, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Love the detail down the throat and the rustic patches on the wings

  7. Patty Chadwick June 27, 2016 at 8:47 am

    This is a beautiful, classical image of an always beautiful, majestic bird! I love to watch them fly…such strong, steady wing beats…..the first time I heard them, I thought I was hearing some kind of prehstoric creature….

  8. Bob McPherson June 27, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Beautiful photo, Mia.

  9. Carol June 27, 2016 at 7:38 am

    So quiet and peaceful. Just beautiful

  10. Roger Burnard June 27, 2016 at 6:41 am

    That is a very nice image Mia… very nice… ;-)))

  11. pennypinchadventure Tim Traver June 27, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Lovely symmetry!

Comments are closed.