A Green Double Take

My Cardinals just blew another late inning lead for the loss. Rather than sit her and seethe through the post game excuses, decided to simply turn off the source of my frustration and immerse myself in another blog post. Bring a bit of calm to my night and productivity at the same moment – can’t beat that… well you could if those damn Cardinals could keep it together… calming breadth, serenity now, puppies… okay, back under control. Thought I’d simply keep the theme from the last post going and feature another Heron family member.

Green Heron encountered at South Padre Island Bird Viewing and Nature Center in January 2017

Today’s effort is a combination post consisting of the same species, at the same spot, but a year apart. These first few shots were taken a little less than 6 months ago at the South Padre Bird Viewing and Nature Center. The Green Heron is not a new bird on my list – in fact it was featured all the way back in September 2012 (link here). Ironically the specimen back in 2012 was just down the road from our house in a state park. Seems like a bit of an overkill to drive all the way down to the tip of Texas to see the same species hehehe.

Green Heron encountered at South Padre Island Bird Viewing and Nature Center in January 2017

Hit the return to see a few more shots of the Green Heron

From the image above, it appears my little quip above seems to have deeply offended the subject of my recent encounter. Who knew these warm weather creatures were such snowflakes. Luckily the pursuit of sustenance outweighed the obviously disdain for my intrusion. Sufficiently convinced the large glass posed little threat, the Green Heron quickly turned back to the task at hand – the hunt.

Green Heron encountered at South Padre Island Bird Viewing and Nature Center in January 2017

If you enjoy wildlife photography, you have to appreciate Mr. Green. If you fail to get a decent shot of a Green Heron in hunt mode, you are probably making it way harder than it needs to be. These Green Herons, well, for that matter, all Herons/Egrets are like statues. They just sit there scanning the kill zone waiting for something interesting to come within reach. As long as you keep your movements smooth, you can crank out as many shots as you think you need to be happy back in the digital dark room.

Green Heron encountered at South Padre Island Bird Viewing and Nature Center in January 2017

Definitely think this set came out better than results from the 2012 encounter – likely due to the fact I was standing on a boardwalk less than 20 feet from this specimen, where the other one was across a large pond hanging out in the tree canopy. There may be specimens closer to home to photograph, but they are definitely more skittish of people compared to the multitude of Green Herons hanging out off the Nature Center boardwalks. If you need a Green Heron for your collection and willing to travel, I can guarantee you will get one in the tin there.

Now for the previous encounter back in December 2016.

Green Heron encountered at South Padre Island Bird Viewing and Nature Center in December 2016

Apparently this is the same one that I found this year – that assessment based purely on the fact that it looks like this specimen was equally annoyed by my presence. Honestly, I did nothing to harm or even disturb these birds, simply pointed a large piece of glass at ’em. Wait a minute, Linda was standing off to the side of me hmmm, wonder if she was teasing them behind my back – bad Linda, very bad woman.

Green Heron encountered at South Padre Island Bird Viewing and Nature Center in December 2016

As previously noted, it eventually decided the lack of feathers covering my body meant there was no threat of competition to its food bowl. Time for some audience participation. Do you prefer the full body shot above… or the up close and personal version?

Green Heron encountered at South Padre Island Bird Viewing and Nature Center in December 2016

I’ll hold my opinion for now so as not to taint your impression. I am holding off on the birding details this time since this was not a new bird to the blog. However, I did want to show what kind of transformation these birds go through when they decide to go Stretch Armstrong. That neck is huge! According to Cornell they range in length from 16 to 17 inches. Would never guess that if you only see them in their compact form.

Green Heron encountered at South Padre Island Bird Viewing and Nature Center in December 2016

Give him a yellow head piece and he’d be ready to stand in for Big Bird. Oh, there is one tidbit I did want to share. These Green Herons will use tools to aid in their hunt. They will use a piece of bread to entice small fish into reach. I have yet to experience this in the field, but did watch a recent YouTube video that showed a Green Heron successfully catching a large fish using this technique – absolutely stunning – wait until they figure out the rod ‘n reel.

Okay, the post therapy worked. All calmed down now and ready for bed. Hope you like seeing the latest batch(es) of Green Heron shots from South Texas. Catch you again, hopefully soon.

2 thoughts on “A Green Double Take”

  1. Very nice shots. I like the close-up only because I already know what the rest of his body looks like. The composition is very good in it (the yellow lines, the colors, etc.).

    These birds need to lighten up, though. Green Herons take themselves way too seriously and are way too focused. They should dance a bit or kick back and roll in the mud. It seems like the smaller birds have fun splashing in water and running around on the beach and flying up and down in circles, but the bigger birds don’t. Live a little, Greenie!

    Anyway, thanks for the very cool pictures of the pretty but way uncool bird.

    Ron

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    1. Look at you, all taunting like to this innocent bird, just trying to get a little piece and quite from a long day of toiling away at the local factory. Drags its tired and broken body down to the shores in hopes of at least subsiding the constant pain of an empty stomach. Only cheap liquor can take the edge off a cold and heartless world full of alligators, rude and intrusive wildlife photographers and, of course, the demonspawn of the animal kingdom … cats – the horror, the horror. Then again, it just might one cranky bird in which case, I’m right there with you hehehehe. Hmmmm, maybe if I shopped some cheep black sunglasses on it will look waaaay cooler.

      Thanks for stopping by… although prety sure this “Greenie” has filed a grievance against you.

      Like

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