Study In Behavior And Movement

Great Blue Herons have always been one of my all time favorite birds. I find them to be very interesting and observing and photographing their behavior can often be quite enjoyable.

One thing I have learned is that GBHs love the sound of their own voice. They usually feel compelled to ‘talk’ about everything, and sometimes it appears (at least to us) that they are talking about nothing at all. They particularly like to announce their arrivals and departures. I can hear that distinctive voice behind me and don’t even have to turn around to know one is inbound.

On this particular morning I was watching this individual casually strolling around the marsh with no apparent particular purpose. But once he opened that big yap and gave me that lean forward posture, I knew he was planning to leave the area. The heron took a step, got into a pre-launch position, and blasted off leaving behind only a splash. It took one more slight touch to get that big body fully airborne but quickly he was up and on his way.

I kept watching the bird as he made his way across the marsh and just prior to landing all the way on the other side, he did not disappoint. I heard that loud cackling call announcing his incoming arrival to everyone and no one.

GBH Behavior and Movement

GBH Behavior and Movement

GBH Behavior and Movement

GBH Behavior and Movement

GBH Behavior and Movement

GBH Behavior and Movement

GBH Behavior and Movement

GBH Behavior and Movement

GBH Behavior and Movement



33 thoughts on “Study In Behavior And Movement

    • The ones we see seem to be often loudly announcing some comments. Maybe it’s because there are other birds around? We have some small ponds behind our house and I heard one carrying on and knew it was a GBH without seeing it.

    • We also occasionally get a visit by either one of these guys or an egret in one of the small ponds behind our house.
      But somehow I tend to think of them as ‘backyard birds’ when nearby like that so I never take photos of them. So I drive 10 mins. to get to the marsh to take GBH pics. 🙂

  1. Fantastic photographs! Love the GBH; was so disappointed that the Bird Cam on Sapsucker Pond in Ithaca did not have any nest activity to document this year. Hopefully next year Dad will return and find a mate.

  2. Great series of a young Great Blue!! Love the horizontal parallel lines in the water and the parallel lines of the wing feathers!! Always love geometry in nature!! 🙂

  3. Really like these big birds, and how graceful they are. The colors in these shots are so nice. The water texture is captured and is quite a compliment to Mr. GBH. Love that they announce!

    • It never fails to really crack us up how they feel compelled to loudly announce their comings and goings. And sometimes they just start in with comments even if they are just standing there doing nothing. Glad you liked seeing one of our local big blues in action!

  4. Lovely.ove.y fledgling, Phil! It doesn’t see, to have qa much rufous coloring as that reddish one we were talking about from last year. Remember that heron? Fabulous captures of a fabulous bird.

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