The Lord Byron of Marsh Birds

September 27, 2013 @ 4:18 pm | Filed under: Nature Study

We went geocaching at a nearby park today. No luck locating the cache (we’ll try again), but we were dazzled by a close encounter with what we think was a great blue heron. He was just standing there on the grass a few yards away, gazing broodingly into the distance. Beanie and Rilla edged as close as they dared and studied him for a long time while Rose and I scoured the leaf litter for that well-camouflaged cache.

My photos didn’t come out terribly well, but when we got home, Rilla drew this picture from memory. What do you think? Great blue?

rilla's heron


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Comments

5 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. Might be a green? Depends on the size and precise coloration (oh, well, age and sex of the bird too). :-) We have lots of herons here — what an exciting creature to spot!! We always thrill to see them.

  2. Almost certainly a Great Blue. Good for Rilla. She got field marks — yellow bill, black on top of the head, and she caught the bird’s stance in her artwork. And if it was big that pretty much clinches the ID. Green Heron and Little Blue Heron are much smaller.

    The first time I saw a Great Blue Heron “in the wild,” in my 30’s, I was absolutely amazed. It had never occurred to me that you could actually see such creatures outside of a zoo!

  3. She has learned to see well! Lovely illustration – as Lindsay said she got the field marks and really captured the essence of heron in its stance. I love it! (And the birders always say it is better to look at the bird and really see it, checking its markings and observing its behavior, rather than rushing for the camera. Yay Rilla!)

  4. Hooray! YEs it was quite large. When we first saw it, from a distance, I thought it was a sapling. It was at least as tall as Huck. Rilla noticed much more about its markings than I did—that dark stripe on the head, for example. She and Beanie stood quietly watching it while Rose and I were mucking about under a tree, searching for the cache. (Which we found easily yesterday on a second visit. So fun!! I’m hooked.)

  5. Only ONCE did I get one of those bad boys to stand still for me – I’m apt to run off the road when I see one, pointing and exclaiming. I think the artist does herons justice, indeed.