For the month of May, I followed the 30x30 challenge given by the David Suzuki Foundation. The challenge was to get outside in nature for thirty minutes every day. I often enjoy walking along the Wrights Creek Nature Trail which is close to our house.
By walking every day on the trail, I noticed a lot more than usual. Every morning, for at least a week, two great blue herons visited the creek. I tried to take photos of them with my ipod touch, but they were a bit too far and always flew away if I got closer.
Finally, one morning, I took my Rebel with me and captured several photos. I'm sharing with you a few of my favourites.
Great blue herons are so majestic looking. They move slowly and their wing span in flight is huge. They look like they are barely moving when in flight, they only take deep wing beats. You can see their tucked in neck in the photo above, along with their legs stretched out behind.
This one liked to stand on one leg. It looks like he knew I was there! As soon as I got a little too close, even though I was on the other side of the creek, he would fly away.
I looked in the Handbook of Nature Study book but didn't find any entries on the great blue heron. Instead, I found information at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. There is a long list of interesting facts about this bird on the life history page.
I found out that Prince Edward Island is the Great Blue Heron North American Capital. You can read more about this on this Government of Prince Edward Island page. The page also gives a list of good viewing areas. Often, we see them in the harbour, by the hospital.
Here are a few facts, about the Great Blue Heron, from the Cornell page:
- Despite their impressive size, Great Blue Herons weigh only 5 to 6 pounds thanks in part to their hollow bones—a feature all birds share.
- The oldest Great Blue Heron, based on banding recovery, was 24 years old.
- Great Blue Herons eat nearly anything within striking distance, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, insects, and other birds.
- Great Blue Herons live in both freshwater and saltwater habitats, and also forage in grasslands and agricultural fields, where they stalk frogs and mammals.