Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Backyard Wildlife

Local birders say there are at least three nesting pair of Great Blue Heron in The Famous Author's neighborhood, and the New Jersey Shore shelters thousands of these giant, magnificent birds. So I wasn't surprised this morning when TFA dropped me and our novel in progress to stare at this GBH fishing on his property.

What was surprising, this time TFA finally got the shot. See, he's been trying for years, but these big birds really hate humans and are very sensitive to movement and sound. Usually, TFA just opens the door onto the back porch and -- pow! GBH is on the wing. Some are over four-feet tall, with wing-spans of six, six and a half feet. It's like Batman taking off.

This morning, though, TFA got lucky. The screen door was stuck open, and he slipped onto the porch without making a sound. The results you see here. TFA tried sneaking down the porch stairs for a closer shot, but as you can maybe tell by this photo (GBH's black eye mixes with the fence, but ...) big bird has already spotted him.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a great website on birds. Here's what it says about GBH: "The largest and most widespread heron in North America, the Great Blue Heron can be found along the ocean shore or the edge of a small inland pond. An all white form is found from southern Florida into the Caribbean, and used to be considered a separate species, the "Great White Heron."

No comments: