Tag Archives: Heron

Wild Horses on a Carolina Summer Evening

A couple of weeks ago I shot a beach portrait session for a lovely family. I came home that evening and downloaded the images from the session. The next day I went to use that camera for another project only to find it was dead! It simply would not power-up. I tried exchanging batteries, cleaning lens contacts and all the other little simple things that can sometimes resolve these kinds of issues. But nothing worked. That left me with a decision to make: Repair or replace. And older model in my mind replace was the best option. So I decided to pick-up a lightly used Canon 7D from Adorama.com. The images below are the first of the horses I’ve made with this camera.

Wild Horse on the Carolina Coast

Wild Horses of the Crystal Coast

Wild stallion on the North Carolina coast

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White Ibis and Little Blue Heron Along the Beaufort NC Waterfront

I had the opportunity to launch my kayak and do a little wildlife photography the other morning. It was an extremely winding morning, making it a little difficult to hold position while shooting. The fast moving air, however, help provide some relief from the heat and humidity of the morning. All in all it was a nice way to spend the morning.

White Ibis along Taylors Creek

Little Blue Heron along North Carolina's Crystal Coast

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Little Blue Heron

While paddling my kayak this morning I came across three Little Blue Herons. Two of these tres hombres were quite shy and took to wing before I got within camera range. But one was absolutely calm in my presence and just kept fishing along the waters edge. The bird was in classic breeding colors (hint, look at the head, neck and bill), making it a very handsome model. These and Reddish Egrets are my favorite large wading birds. I’m always thrilled when I get to observe them. Below are a few photos from the encounter.

Little Blue Heron on Taylor's Creek

Little Blue Heron in breeding colors.

Rachel Carson Reserve is home to many interesting birds.

Little Blue along the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.

Little Blue Heron.

Little Blue Heron.

Little Blue Heron found along North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks.

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Ooops! Night Heron Repost

Yesterday morning I did a post on Black Crowned Night Herons. Unfortunately my site host was making a nameserver change and that post got lost in the migration. Basically I mentioned stopping by my Night Heron hot-spot on the way bac from my wild horse photo outing. That day there were over twenty of the Night Herons roosing in the trees along with several Tri-color Herons, White Ibis and other birds. Below are the images included with that post.

A Black Crowned Night Heron gazes out over Taylor's Creek near Beaufort, NC.

A juvenile Night Heron.

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Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Herons are the big birds of the salt marshes. In spite of being the largest bird in the marsh I find these beautiful creatures to be some of the most skittish as well. It’s always a challenge to approach one close enough for a decent photo.

A Great Blue Heron sitting along the shore in the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve.

A Great Blue Heron leaps into flight as a kayaker approaches a bit too close.

Great Blue Heron exiting stage left.

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Juvenile Little Blue Heron

I went for a paddle this morning. Near the end of the trip I came upon a very cooperative juvenile Little Blue Heron. I was surprised at how close he allowed me to drift in and was even more surprised when I was able to slip away without pushing him into flight. It’s always best for both the bird and the photographer when you can get your images and leave without stressing the animal. Below are a few shots of this handsome young heron.

Immature Little Blue Heron.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron. Little Blue Heron.

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A Couple of Herons

The other morning I was encountering birds that were a bit more skittish than usual. I was able to get a few shots of a Great Blue Heron and its smaller cousin, the Tricolor Heron. Figured I share a few photos.

Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue Heron.

Tricolor Heron.

Tricolor Heron.

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Little Blue Heron Juvenile

A lot of folks would mistake this lovely white bird for a Snowy Egret. They’d all be wrong! This is an immature Little Blue Heron. As he matures he will don blue-grey feathers on his body, with a rust head and neck. The easiest indicator is too look at the bill. A Snowy Egrets bill is solid black. The Little Blue Heron, on the other hand, has a two tone bill. Below are a couple of photos of a Little Blue Heron photographed recently along Taylor’s Creek.

Little Blue Heron along Taylor's Creek near Beaufort, NC.

Little Blue Heron.

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Night Herons

Night Herons tend to be the most shy, secretive members of the heron & egret family. Getting photos of them out in the open is rare and the opportunity is highly sought after by many avian photographers. I’ve been very, very lucky this fall. It seems almost any morning that I launch my kayak I’m being blessed with the chance to photograph both adult and juvinile night herons, an opportunity I greatfully take advantage of. Here are some shots of Black Crowned Night Herons from a recent kayak trip.

An adult Black Crowned Night Heron in the open... a somewhat rare sight.

Juvinile Black Crowned Night Heron.

A night heron in flight.

Black Crowned Night Heron takes flight.

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Yellow Crowned Night Heron Juveniles

I’ve been blessed the last year or two with several opportunities to view and photograph Black Crowned Night Herons. These little herons tend to be quite elusive and a lot of very successful nature photographers only have a few images at best of them. However, I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing, let alone making photographs of a Yellow Crowned Night Heron… well at least not until yestereday morning.

With a large influx of water entering the estuary due to recent rains, and high-tide approaching, I was able to paddle my kayak into places that would normally be low lying grassy nooks. While nudging my kayak against the incoming tide on Taylor’s Creek I noticed a few birds perched back in one of these nooks. I pointed my boat in to see what the birds were… and to enjoy the relief from paddling against the current. As I approached them and started photographing the youngsters I presumed they were juvenile Black Crowned Night Herons. After all, I’ve become accoustomed to seeing them around the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve. But with the help of some friends over at the forums at Wildlifesouth.net I learned they were actually Yellow Crowned Night Herons. Very, very cool!

A small, maybe medium heron, the Yellow Crowned Night Heron lives on or near wetlands on the east coast of the Unitied States and, to a lessor extent, along rivers and streams as far norht as Illinis. They primarily feed on crustaceans and, as their name implies, mostly hunt at night though are more likely that other night herons to been seen feeding in day light. The Carolinas is a summer home and breeding area for these birds.

A juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron at Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve.

Yellow Crowned Night Heron near Beaufort NC.

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