Herons are back


I saw a Great Blue Heron this morning.

This might seem to be an inconsequential observation. One might see herons in every month of the year, so it isn’t as if they are like ospreys: gone in the cold weather; here in the warm. Yet, Kootenay Lake is on the northern edge of the heron’s permanent home in North America and the bird is remarkably fickle when it comes to hanging around us. Indeed, as Cornell Labs notes: “Great Blue Herons generally move away from the northern edge of their breeding range in winter.” This is reflected in the our low frequency of heron observations in the cold months. Indeed, I haven’t seen a single heron this last winter.

This ebird.org graph shows the frequency of observations of the Great Blue Heron locally. It is quite low in the winter but begins to pick up in April.

This morning, a Great Blue Heron flew by, the first I have seen since last fall. They are back.


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9 Responses to Herons are back

  1. Jean Simpson says:

    Wow! Look at those wings – beautiful

  2. Ed Beynon says:

    Hi Alistair-A great photo as always. About 20 years ago 30 or more heron spent the winter in the Waldie Is area. There is the odd one now. I understand that some winter near Genelle.

  3. Colleen says:

    Great photo! Welcome BACK!

  4. Della C. Fenkner says:

    Such an elegant bird and a lovely shot. Thanks.

  5. Trevor Goward says:

    Hi Alistair

    Your image left me breathless at first viewing. One would have to go a long way to find another heron shot quite so saturated with the poetry of motion. To describe this image as uplifting doesn’t begin to capture it.

    Take good care


  6. Gail Frampton says:

    Lovely photo once again!

  7. cynthia says:

    Beautiful! While x-country skiing this January, I watched two herons repeatedly fly over the Balfour Golf course (near their rookery). Needless to say, my hastily hauled out smartphone did not capture their majestic essence.

  8. Tom says:

    Magnificent! I’ve never seen such vibrant colour in herons as you have captured in this image.

  9. Shirleen Smith says:

    Here’s a question: your photo shows the heron has a somewhat short tail, for the size of the bird and length of its wing feathers. Do you think the feet trailing out the back could serve some of the functions of a longer tail?

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