Saturday, September 14, 2013

Little Blue Heron

Sanibel Gardens Preserve - A little gem hidden from the main path and the peace that it provides is totally priceless. There seems to be a few feather family that lives there and one of those are the Little Blue Heron.

This is the Little Blue Heron. What? You said a Blue Heron, but it is white! Ha! Who said that everything was as clear as black and white was a fool outside the birdshop. This juvenile is often confused with the immature Snowy Egret - snowy has golden slippers, little blue has dull yellow to greenish legs and feet.
I saw this guy this morning - somewhat a Lone Ranger because the place was very quiet except for the woodpeckers, mockingbirds, doves, swallows and flycatchers. There are not too many shallow ponds because of the numerous rain showers that we've had this summer and that would be the reason why the wading birds are not as numerous as usual. This little one was threading lightly by carefully setting his foot down and feeling for stability before proceeding ahead....and.....because he is a slow methodical feeder.
Pretty! It makes me think of jeans and T-shirt - relaxed and taking it easy.

Notice how  the Little Blue Heron's plumage is changing - this is the molting stage - during the first spring, juvenile's white plumage begins a gradual molt to adult plumage - this process is often referred to a 'calico phase'.

Here we have the Adult stage - which sports a slate blue overall color.

In the breeding stage the head and neck become reddish purple, legs and feet black. A pretty striking bird if I must say so myself.


  1. Very interesting how the little blue heron changes in color. Always enjoy seeing your pictures.

  2. Still loving the herons.......thanks so much for posting pics of them often! :)
    The young DO remind me of faded jeans...a relaxing, laid-back feeling, in deed!
    They are beautiful, young and old!

  3. Thanks for stopping by :D, nice to see you Judy.