Immature Great Blue Heron in a Christmas Snow Storm – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 640, +1.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
It was snowing at Farmington Bay WMA on Christmas day so the light was low, visibility was poor and birds were difficult for me to spot at any distance. When I first saw a shape on the shoreline I couldn’t make out what it was, I couldn’t even determine if the dark shape was a bird or a creature but as we got closer I saw that it was a Great Blue Heron hunched over to fend off the cold.
As I focused on the Great Blue Heron I could tell it was an immature bird braving its first winter alone in the marshes of Farmington Bay. I knew this was a young Great Blue because the rusty colored shoulder patches would be more pronounced on a mature Great Blue Heron and there wouldn’t be small buffy spots on the wing coverts on a mature bird either.
Watching this heron made me think of how our birds and animals struggle to get through the harshness of winter and much like the first year Red-tailed Hawk I also photographed on Christmas Day, I hope this young Great Blue Heron makes it through to the warmer days of spring.
Life is good.