Monday, December 8, 2014

Great Blue Heron photo shoot

Up close and very personal! It was a special moment when I came around the corner and saw this Great Blue Heron - he graciously allowed me to admire his beauty and capture it - take a look...
I noticed right away that his plumage was standing out and upon closer inspection, I realized that it was in breeding plumage.

During breeding the plumes achieve full development. The courtship crest incorporates the several long black head plumes. When raised the crest is black with a white center. The elongated throat and neck plumes are light grey with vinous wash. The similarly elongated back plumes also are light grey, contrasting with the darker back. The bill takes on an orange color near the base and more yellow to the tip, turning darker after courtship. The legs also take on an orange red color. These color changes may vary geographically as they are not reported in fannini (Butler 1992). The lores become blue green to blue tending to yellow at the base of the bill. In the white form, the plumes are all white, and the bill and legs turn very pink. The lores turn blue. (more information at


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