Great Blue Heron

I liked this foot up pose, even with that intruding dead limb across the bird’s neck. Over the last couple years this has been one of the favorite nesting trees for Great Blue Heron and Great Egrets so I expect I’ll be seeing a lot of that limb as breeding season unfolds.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Last year that limb had branches off it, that have either broken away or been pulled off for nest material and this would not have been a clear view. I think the remaining limb is too big for a Heron to break off and put in the nest but I won’t be surprised to see one try.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Yellow-rumped Warbler

This Yellow-rumped Warbler, also known as “Butter Butt” paused as he was looking for snacks along the tree line of the rice field dike.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler – with flash of yellow showing

The warblers tend to be fast and elusive, usually working the inner branches as they move along a tree line.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

It’s always a treat when they turn towards the camera, even though this is not the Butter Butt’s most colorful side.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Red-shouldered Hawk

With no leaves on the trees the Red-shouldered Hawks are easy to spot when they are around the edges of the swamp. Their red-orange color palette and size stand out even when they aren’t moving.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

After first seeing this one I was able to get an unobstructed view from a little further along the trail.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

He appeared to be looking for a snack as he studied the ground.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

After about 20 minutes he flexed his wings and I expected him to fly, hoping it would be left to right in front of me.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

Not to be, he settled in facing the other way.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

GBH: Looking for Perfect Stick

A small number of Great Blue Herons are busy building nests around the swamp. This one landed on a small island to look for nest building material.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

He just couldn’t find the right stick, selecting and discarding all sizes as he traipsed between the Cypress knees.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

I finally gave up hoping to see him fly with a stick; he was still poking around when I moved on.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Turtle, It’s What’s For Lunch

I saw this Red-shouldered Hawk standing on the ground at the side of a pond and approached slowly. Other times I’ve seen them do this the bird was squeezing his next meal, but I didn’t see any food here.

Red-shouldered Hawk with Turtle
Red-shouldered Hawk with Turtle

Afterwards, when I zoomed in on what I thought was a tree root or Cypress knee, it turned out to be a turtle standing on its end.

Who knew a Red-shouldered Hawk could lift so much?He didn’t struggle at all and disappeared into the woods with his catch

Red-shouldered Hawk with Turtle
Red-shouldered Hawk with Turtle

I don’t know what made the hawk take off; I was standing still and the only human in view.

These were taken with the Sony Alpha 6500 which uses an electronic viewfinder, not the best arrangement for images of birds in flight due to the lag time.

Sony Alpha 6500, Sony 55-210 mm, at 210 mm.

Great Blue Heron Posing & Posturing

This Great Blue Heron was alert and posturing as he staked his claim to a potential nest site.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

It was a dark afternoon, even had been sprinkling a bit. I processed these each a little differently, trying to compensate for the lack of light.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron Ruffling Up

A Great Egret flew by but did not stop as the GBH gave a pointed look.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron Posturing Towards Approaching Egret

3 Coots

I had hopes that these three American Coots would synchronize their swimming direction or angle for a portrait composition.

American Coot Trio
American Coot Trio

They circled, they zigged and zagged, they separated and came back together, but an organized group shot was not to be.

American Coot Trio
American Coot Trio

Eventually they did all turn their heads in the same direction, almost.

American Coot Trio
American Coot Trio