At Home with The Herons


As I mentioned in a previous post, the Concho River runs through downtown

San Angelo, Texas.  My hometown.  It is a pretty area along the river, but I think I mentioned that before, too.  So I won’t expound on that any more for awhile.  But there is, I could say, a rookery along the river for the Great Blue Herons.  I don’t know what constitutes a rookery, but there are three breeding pairs of the herons there, on different nests, of course.  As far as I have been able to tell, two nests have four young ones, and the other on the opposite of the river has two.

So a couple of days ago, I decided to go down and document the family life of these great birds.  This is a small collection of images, taken from the three nests.  I parked on the drive near the 9-hole golf course and got out of my car with my Canon EOS 7D and 100-400mm zoom lens.  It was a perfect combination for the two nests on the near side of the river.  I could stand on the river bank below, as the birds were only about twenty feet above me and hanging out over the water slightly.

“When do we eat, Ma?” Adult Great Blue Heron with children.

“Gotta get groceries for the kids.”

For the nest that was on the other side of the river, I mounted the camera with my 500mm f4 lens on a tripod.  The distance to that nest was, in my estimation about 150 yards.  With the 1.4 tele-converter on the lens it was an easy shot.  You can tell these images, as that nest was surrounded by leaves and foliage.  The other two shots were of the nearby nests on a dead tree.

Young Great Blue Heron on nest.

Nevertheless, I still had to do some close cropping with those faraway shots, but, as you can see, my camera setup done a magnificent job.

“Mother and Son”

In a few days, I think the young ones will be ready to fledge, or fly and leave the nests.  I will check on them again and hope that I can be there when they do.  It would be a great experience.

Disclaimer:  The photo of the heron in flight was taken on a previous occasion.  I tossed it in to add to the story. 🙂  Click on any image to see an enlargement.

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24 thoughts on “At Home with The Herons

  1. Sir, I love the photographs! especially the one “got to got groceries’, what a stunning photograph! Stay blessed and happy. Cheers.

  2. Bob, you’re very fortunate to have such convenient access to these birds and you’ve made the most of it. Amazing that the rookery is “downtown”. I especially like the last image with the preening adult and the juvenile. Any developments on the “noodle” front?

    • Thanks for the great comment, Ron. I really appreciate it. I feel so fortunate that I have these things so close at hand. About the Noodle, I hope to get over to Walmart today.

  3. As usual your photos are wonderful. I sincerely hope you can catch the babies doing their fledge. To me this would be one of those once in a lifetime shots. Good Luck..can’t wait to see what comes tomorrow..

  4. Bob, thanks for sharing these, it is always interesting to see herons & their chicks in nests. I’m glad you can photograph these nests without getting too close.

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