There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias

Large wading bird
Tall and thin
Long neck, legs and wings
Grayish-blue back, wings and belly
Gray or reddish S-shaped neck
Shaggy feathers on neck and back
White crown stripe
Black plume from eyes to back of neck
Yellow eyes
Long, thick bill

Listen to its call.

Driving down Beach Drive yesterday, I spotted this heron perched in a tree right next to the road. Another one was in a similar position further down the road. I have no idea what they were doing (possibly taking a rest from fishing?).

While I was watching, one of them extending its neck fully and partly opened its wings as if it was about to take off.  Given its 'movement' afterwards (!), this seemingly odd behaviour had nothing to do with flight.

Learn more about the Great Blue Heron.

Additional photos:

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