Tag Archives: Little Blue Heron

Splish Splash

It’s always a surprise to see a wading bird in the water with their body in. This Little Blue Heron was taking a prolonged bath in water that was a bit murky.

Little Blue Heron taking bath
Little Blue Heron taking bath – click photo for larger view

He stood in one spot having a soak for at least ten minutes. I’m not sure if those bubbles were from his splashing that I missed or something else was in the water.

Little Blue Heron taking bath
Little Blue Heron taking bath – click photo for larger view

Then the action started:

Little Blue Heron taking bath
Little Blue Heron taking bath – click photo for larger view

Bathing can be hard on your coiffure.

Little Blue Heron taking bath
Little Blue Heron taking bath – click photo for larger view

Finally hopping out of the water for a big shake.

Little Blue Heron taking bath
Little Blue Heron taking bath – click photo for larger view

And another:

Little Blue Heron taking bath
Little Blue Heron taking bath – click photo for larger view

Then a peaceful rest at the edge of his personal bath tub.

Little Blue Heron taking bath
Little Blue Heron taking bath – click photo for larger view

 

Immature Little Blue Heron

Dwarfed by the reeds and grasses growing at the edge of the marsh this immature Little Blue Heron squawked his way to a landing then seemed unsure what to do.

Young Little Blue Heron
Young Little Blue Heron

His mottled coloration made him  stand out nicely from the green background as he took a stroll along the irrigation canal bordering the marsh.

Young Little Blue Heron
Young Little Blue Heron

Click on either photo for larger view.

 

Juvenile Little Blue Heron Portraits

Here is a selection of juvenile Little Blue Heron portraits with nature provided backgrounds. You can just start to see some color in the tips of the tail feathers.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Juvenile Little Blue Heron

The pin head feathers aren’t as prominent as the chicks get older, although in the right light and humidity conditions they still stand up.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Juvenile Little Blue Heron

I liked the way the pine branched framed the back of this one and was wishing I was a foot or so taller to line it up better.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Click on any photo for larger view.

Little Blue Heron Flight School

Adult Little Blue Herons teach their young to fly by encouraging them, sometimes with food, out to the end of a branch. The adult then takes off, hoping the juvenile will follow.

Little Blue Heron Flight School
Little Blue Heron Flight School

Although the juveniles have been venturing onto the branches for a couple of weeks, In the beginning actually lifting off is a tough sell.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron Flight School
Juvenile Little Blue Heron Flight School

Many of the families have three or four chicks and the sibling competition seems to spur them on. This fellow appeared to be an only child, or maybe the others have already moved on.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron Flight School
Juvenile Little Blue Heron Flight School

“I don’t know if I can do this!”

Juvenile Little Blue Heron Flight School
Juvenile Little Blue Heron Flight School

Success! It was a short hop but he made it and landed successfully.

Juvenile Little Blue Herons

The juvenile Little Blue Herons are spreading out away from their nests and just when one thinks he has found his own piece of paradise he gets company.

Juvenile Little Blue Herons
Juvenile Little Blue Herons

These sticks are from a dead branch that fell in a storm earlier this summer and it makes an easy landing spot for the young birds. Unfortunately it provides no protection from alligators that could easily lurch out of the water and snatch one of them.

Juvenile Little Blue Herons
Juvenile Little Blue Herons

This section of the pond is choked with duckweed and the alligators travel easily  unseen beneath it. Even if they do see a predator the herons rarely take evasive action.

Juvenile Little Blue Herons
Juvenile Little Blue Herons

There are no ducks around to eat the duckweed right now and the conditions seem to be perfect for it to thrive, making for very green photographs.

Juvenile Little Blue Herons
Juvenile Little Blue Herons

Sharing a Tree

I could hear the Red-bellied Woodpecker around the swamp from the distinctive shrill call. Sound bouncing off the water can make the exact direction hard to pinpoint. Eventually the flash of red gave away his position.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

This tree branch has a number of holes the woodpecker was exploring while a juvenile Little Blue Heron looked on.

Red-bellied Woodpecker and Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Red-bellied Woodpecker and Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Satisfied, the heron returned to sentry duty.

Red-bellied Woodpecker and Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Red-bellied Woodpecker and Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Foot Loose Little Blue Herons

The juvenile Little Blue Heron are more mobile, but most of them still weren’t flying on this day about a week ago. They are venturing further away from their nests and their feet were in full view.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

As I developed these photographs I noticed how many ways they use those feet, often digging their nails in for support or to climb a branch.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

Head on shots of birds rarely look like much, but in this one the Little Blue’s feet are nicely lined up and show off how long his nails are.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

They don’t need a very big branch to hang on to.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

As we were leaving the rookery this adult Little Blue landed above us giving another foot view.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron Chicks Exploring

After being away for a week we visited the swamp our first day back. The Heron and Egret chicks grow so fast I was eager to see what had changed and who might have moved on.

Little Blue Heron Chick
Little Blue Heron Chicks

In the Little Blue Heron rookery the chicks had gone from the protection of their nests on the interior of the island to exploring nearby branches.

Little Blue Heron Chick
Little Blue Heron Chick Over the Water

The chick above was in a risky spot out over the pond where an alligator could jump up and snatch him.  The chick’s flying skills aren’t established yet so just lifting up may not be an option.

Little Blue Heron Chick
Little Blue Heron Chick

The Little Blue Heron chicks seem to have more interest in their surroundings than the Great Blue Herons we have watched at the same age.

Little Blue Heron Chick
Little Blue Heron Chick Looking Around

An intense thunder storm moved in so we did not make it to the rookery to check on the Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons on this day.

Shades of Blue

The Little Blue Herons are working on their nests on the interiors of two little islands. They get into squabbles with their mates or their neighbors then take a spin around the island, sometimes taking a time out before getting back into the fray in the dense undergrowth.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron – click photo for larger view

Out in the open it is easier to see their beautiful blues. The intense blue on their beaks is a match for the blue sky on this April day.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron – click photo for larger view

An in-flight photo from underneath gives a perspective on their wing spans and shows off that their bodies aren’t all blue.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron – click photo for larger view

The Little Blue Heron’s various blues seem more purple than blue in the bright sun. This one is about to disappear into the greenery towards his nest.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron – click photo for larger view

April 22, 2017.

Danger Everywhere

With an occasional eye to the sky as Hawks and Vultures passed over head, this Little Blue Heron worked back and forth on a log, poking in the duck weed.

Little Blue Heron with eye to the sky, click photo for larger view.

He seemed not to notice the Alligator floating just behind him, his head just to the left of the birds in the photo above. From where I  stood peeking through underbrush, I wasn’t sure the log wasn’t alive, either.

Little Blue Heron with Alligator over his shoulder, click photo for larger view.

The Little Blue gave a ruffle after a mis-step off the log and went back to patrolling.

Ruffled Little Blue Heron, click photo for larger view.

The Little Blue Heron and logs from another angle.

Little Blue Heron working down a log, click photo for larger view.