Recently I saw a great blue heron (Ardea herodias) sitting on a snag near Crystal Lake (Shasta County CA). I climbed uphill through the undergrowth in an attempt to get close – and did get quite near before the heron flew. Success! Although several other posts on this blog (August, October, December, among others) featured this magnificent bird, I will still share more pictures.
The largest wading bird in North America with a wingspan of six feet, the upper mandible of the great blue heron is dark while the lower mandible is yellow. This is easily seen in the sitting picture. Other great blue heron field markings that can be observed are its black crest (tufts of feathers on the head), gray plumes on the lower neck and breast and greenish black legs and feet. Also note how the neck folds into an “s-shape”.
What else is there to say – enjoy the pictures!