“It Wasn’t Me, It Was That Other Bird”

Yesterday we spotted this great blue heron standing in a tree doing what I have often seen described as a “flasher” pose. You can draw your own conclusions regarding how it got that name, but from most of the research I have done, this posture is likely part of the heron’s ability to thermo regulate it’s body temperature. The wing out position can allow for better air flow when the bird is hot, or collect heat (as it appears to be doing here) to warm itself up in the sun after a cool evening.

However… could I have possibly caught it in an embarrassing situation? Soon after it was done flashing, the great blue flew across the marsh then ducked down low behind some reeds in hopes of remaining out of sight. It almost worked too, until I managed to steal a momentary glimpse of him when he briefly poked his up for a quick look around.  🙂 

GBH Flashing Pose

GBH Flies Over Reeds

GBH Hiding in Reeds

50 thoughts on ““It Wasn’t Me, It Was That Other Bird”

  1. That posture in the first photo is almost prehistoric – pterodactyl-like. Lovely detail in the second! And amazing in the last – talk about fitting in. He even looks a little sly there. 😉

    • He does have a bit of a look in that last photo doesn’t he?! The GBH is my favorite bird and they are almost always up to something. They also have a lot of trouble keeping their yaps shut, constantly squawking about something. Or nothing. 😉

  2. I’ve never seen that first pose before, but what a funny story. In the third photo I can just imagine the heron thinking: “Rats! He’s still out there watching me!”

  3. I’ve never seen them in this pose, but I wonder if they are exposing the under side of the wing to a little heat and UV radiation in order to kill a few of the feather kites there.

    • That’s possible Sue, I have read similar speculation. It could be true too since I don’t ever see these birds bathe in the traditional manner of splashing themselves all over with water.

  4. Geez, those paparazzi have nothing on you, Phil! 😀 great captures again, and thanks for showing me something I’ve never seen before. Love that last pic of him hiding from your lens. 🙂

    • I have seen GBHs do this previously Sylvia, but not often. Plus I think maybe this is the first time I saw one standing in a tree holding that pose.
      He tried to hide, but I spotted the big sneak. 😀

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