Nesting Great Blue Herons

The Concho River flows through downtown San Angelo.  It attracts many species of water birds, and the stars of the show are the Great Blue Herons, (Ardea herodias).  The whole riverwalk area is a beautiful thing in itself.  A beautiful nine-hole golf course is one of the attractions.  In this area across the street from the course are three of the herons’ nests.  Two on the closest side of the river and one nest across the river.  An acquaintance of mine had informed me that the chicks had recently hatched and it may not be long before they fledge.

On Sunday morning, after breakfast, Ann and I decided we had better go down and check them out.  It didn’t take us long to locate the nests, as they were in the same location as last year.  I got my tripod out of the car and set it up on the curb, on the golf course side of the street.  It gave me a line of sight to all three nests.  I was using my Canon EOS 7D and 1.4 tele-converter, with 500mm f4 zoom lens.

"Hey, Ma, what's for breakfast?"

On one of the nest, I could only see two birds and they were facing away from me.  The other one on the near side of the river was filled with four young chicks and the mother who had just flown in to feed them.  I got one shot of them, then a couple of minutes later I captured an isolated shot of the mother, to make a portrait of sorts.  By the way, there are no discernable features between the male and the female Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue Heron - a portrait

Across the river, the nest visible in the foliage, the adult was preening and I was able to get a pretty neat shot of that as well.

Great Blue Heron - preening

I hope you enjoyed these latest images of the photogenic Great Blue Herons.  I intend to monitor the chicks’ progress until they fledge.

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