Very Active Black-crowned Night-Heron

In roughly half my visits to Lake Martin, I have seen a bird of one species or another perched on a certain dead tree partially submerged at the north end of the lake. For example, recently I saw this Black-crowned Night-Heron on the tree.

7DI_9422-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO1000)

I slowly approached the edge of the lake, apparently far enough away that the heron wasn’t frightened. It merely turned around, showing its prominent head plume.

7DI_9439-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO1000)

The heron then repeatedly dipped its long bill deep into the water.

7DI_9443-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO1000)

I never saw it come up with anything in its bill except water, which would occasionally stream away from its bill. I guess it was merely drinking and not hunting prey.

7DI_9445-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO1000)

After watching this performance for a while, I started walking away. Just around the large bushes next to where I had been, there was a clear spot on the shore providing a closer look at the heron from a different angle. However, when I got to that spot, the heron grew a bit more concerned with my presence. It started moving from its original position to higher limbs on the tree.

7DI_9572-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO400)

7DI_9575-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO320)

7DI_9577-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO500)

In one more (unphotographed) move, it made it to the mossy limb that was the highest point on the tree.

7DI_9595-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO2500)

Not long thereafter, the heron took off, flying away from the camera and into the shade of a grove of cypress trees farther offshore.

7DI_9611-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO3200)

7DI_9615-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO2500)

7DI_9616-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO2000)
7DI_9620-xCanon EOS 7D (600mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO3200)

I am not a big fan of “butt-shots” of flying birds, but in this case I think the wing and leg configurations of this flying heron are rather interesting.


Hover your mouse cursor over a marker in the map below to reveal a label indicating which photos were taken at that location.


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