The Smallest Heron is Green.

The Smallest Heron is Green.

Going through my archived photos is a frequent task I undertake, at times I am a bit rambunctious in editing and deleting. While scrolling through them my interest fell upon one of the common birds of the United States the Green Heron. I assume they are equally as numerous in most of the Americas and most likely Europe.

They are small, colorful Herons, the smallest member of the species although only slightly smaller than the Bittern. Yellow, rust and in the right light a cape of Green on its back it is the most colorful of the Herons. As other wading birds they do not have webbed feet; I have seen them in the water appearing to be swimming; they may be but it appears more to be floating.

They are patient as they crouch low amongst the weeds and water plants waiting for an unfortunate fish to swim within the reach of the dagger like beak.

Using sticks or bits of leaves used to lure the fish closer they seem to be more intellegent then we give them credit for. The photo above is a Green Heron with it’s tuft in disarray in a sloppy pose.

A better image of a Heron displaying its top extended into the crest, it’s much like a dog raising its back fur when alarmed. Camouflage when in like colored surroundings make them extremely difficult to see. When photographed against such a back ground it at times renders editing fruitless as separating them from it is difficult.

Being fast flyers they are difficult to photograph in flight, I have quite a few but for each good image there are 100 that were deleted. Normally flying with their mate the male usually leads while the female lags behind by as much as 50 yards. I watch them nearly daily flying together (kind of) as they near the destination they split up landing 25-50 yards from one another. It’s rare to see them perched next to one another; I’m not sure if that is a wide spread practice. They emit a shrill ewk at times while zipping through the air.

Sometimes they appear from seemingly thin air as they often are perched close by hidden in the foliage or rocks. At times they know I am nearby long before I see them which often isn’t until they take to the air. I don’t see them perched or around their larger cousins the Great Blue Heron it may be due to their size. The Green Heron is the right size to make a meal of for the larger bird but I imagine with the sharp beak it would be a meal to be reckoned with. There is a difference between playing with your food and fighting with it, I’d say no thanks to the later especially one sporting that beak.

Green Herons are always around if they are not in sight at any given time if we wait for a short while one is bound to fly past. They are not fair weather friends these guys are out in all weather; rain, wind or cold is not a deterrent for them. They perch on utility lines, Trees and structures; they are very photographic no matter the time of day, lighting or environment.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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