Pair of immature Great Blue Herons in a nest – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/250, ISO 800, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light
It might seem difficult for those of us in northern climates to believe but nesting season in Florida for Great Blue Herons and other birds has begun. The Great Blue Herons here in Utah are dealing with ice, snow and bitter cold temperatures now but the Great Blue Herons in Florida they have started courting and building their nests.
There will be nests that fail in Florida if they get a prolonged cold snap but the herons that lose their first clutch will often re-nest. The immature Great Blue Herons in my image were in a nest high in a pine tree at John Chesnut Sr. Park in Pinellas County, Florida near the end of their breeding season. I photographed them on a dreary day while I walked through the park in 2008, the dreariness and low light is why I used a high ISO and even then I did not have much for shutter speed.
The two young herons were certainly old enough to have left the nest but I did watch the parents bring food into them once. I left the young herons soon after they fed because the skies got darker and it looked like it might rain.
Next time I see a Great Blue Heron here in Utah covered in frost, trying to hunt through snow or hunched over trying to stay warm I will probably think of the herons in Florida who are already nesting there. Birds are amazing.
Life is good.
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