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June 21, 2018

Return of Bird of the Week: Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron, Boise River, Idaho

Great Blue Heron, Boise River, Idaho

More than any other North American bird species, the Great Blue Heron reminds you that birds evolved from dinosaurs. If anything brings the images of a flying dinosaur to mind, it is a Great Blue Heron slowly lumbering across the sky.

Great Blue Heron in Flight, Malheur NWR, Oregon

Great Blue Heron in Flight, Malheur NWR, Oregon

WC is used to seeing these big herons doing strange things, but last weekend they showed him something new. A dozen or so birds were perched along the top of the cliff. the canyon rim along the middle Snake River, near Hagerman, Idaho.

Great Blue Herons perched 150 feet above the river on the canyon rim

There’s no food up there; just old lava rock and some discouraged sagebrush. And a dozen or so Herons.

Great Blue Herons perched high on canyon rim

Great Blue Herons perched high on canyon rim

This species winters and nests in rookeries along the Snake River; it’s not uncommon to find them, especially along the banks of the many dam reservoirs. But up on the rock rim? Not so much.

The Great Blue Heron is one of the most widespread and adaptable wading birds in North America. And proof that even 65 million years later, not all birds have evolved a very long ways from their theropod ancestors.

 

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3 Responses to “Return of Bird of the Week: Great Blue Heron”
  1. akbright says:

    Beautiful photos. After seeing so much ugliness lately, this is a nice reprieve….thank-you.

  2. mike from iowa says:

    Unlike Russia, I can see Herons from my house as they lazily fly along the pasture creek looking for fish and frogs.Also one of the latest to leave when snow comes. I have seen numerous ones wading in creeks with ice and snow all around. Fabulous photography as per usual, WC.

  3. Zyxomma says:

    Maybe it’s some kind of mating ritual — preseason game, or Show’n’Tell. Gorgeous photos!!

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