Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Great Blue Heron

I loved my last visit to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge so much I went back for an encore visit today, only this time I took my 87-year-old mother with me.  One of the really nice things about the refuge is that one can drive the 4.2-mile auto route, which is a wonderful way for someone like my mother who's hiking days are long past to see the refuge and it's wildlife.  There is much to see from the comfort of one's car, and the local fauna don't seem to mind the cars as much. 

Today was a quiet day at the refuge, and most of the migratory birds were content to forage under the water.  At one point we found a Great Blue Heron finding food in a drainage structure next to the road, which gave me the best opportunity to capture these images.

The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

The heron sees a potential meal.  Bear in mind I was only 15 feet away, leaning out of my open window.  (Some have said this particular shot/pose looks like a strange bird looking at us)

The meal must be moving around as the heron patiently watches...and waits

Score!  See the minnow in the heron's beak?

A nice profile shot

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