Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias


Great Blue Heron


Great Blue Heron
Above and below, Great Blue Herons in characteristic foraging stance, crouched and ready to strike.


Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron
The herons above and below were walking along trails through grassland, probably
scanning for small mammals that they might capture: the one above, across
my path; the one below ambling ahead of me on the trail and appearing to
enjoy the greenery and flowers.


Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron


Great Blue Heron


Great Blue Heron
Above, a juvenile; the crown is solid gray rather than black and white, there is no brown on the neck, and wing coverts are cinnamon-fringed.


Great Blue Herons
Adult Great Blue with two nestlings playing with each other at bill-dueling.


Great Blue Herons
A pair courting, with the adult courtship version of bill-dueling (compare nestlings, next image up); see more of this mating sequence below.


Great Blue Herons
Toward the end of the courtship, this male successively fetched three large branches which he presented to the female, this being one; she accepted and placed the branches crosswise as if for a nest.


Great Blue Herons
The pair in the two images above, now concluding the courtship with copulation. For a sequence of eleven images showing more of this spectacular episode of courting and mating, see here.