H for the Herons

posted in: Down by the Bay | 27

H for herons – great blue herons, green herons and night herons, some of my favourite birds to photograph.

photographing the green heron at craftygardener.ca

Here is the green heron we saw quite close to home on a pond by the local dairy.  You can see the greenish tinge at the top of their wings.

black crowned night heron at craftygardener.ca

This black crowned night heron caught himself a tasty fish in the turtle pond down by the bay.

2013 night heron2

These are smaller herons with a thicker and shorter neck than the great blue heron.  They have a black crown on their head and the colour sometimes extends down their back.  The photo below is just as it was taking off.  The white line on its back is the long white feather that comes out of its black crown.

the black crowned night heron in flight, photo by craftygardener.ca

The great blue heron, the one with the long neck and long legs is a silent, solitary stalker at the bay.  My photo archives are full of many photos of this large wading bird.


I love close up photos of their head.  Maybe it’s the slate grey colour in many shades, which is one of my favourite colours of clothing. (along with black and green)

great blue heron at craftygardener.ca

Their wing span is huge and just look how they tuck their feet right to the underside of their body.  This one was just taking off and the wing tips are touching the water.  The great blue heron is the largest North American heron

the heron in flight captured by craftygardener.ca

On a misty and rainy day this great blue heron was sighted on a large post surveying the area around Whiffen Spit.

the great blue heron at Whiffen Spit in December 2017, photo taken by craftygardener.ca

Close to shore down by the Bay of Quinte this heron was searching for a snack of fish which they usually swallow whole.

the heron down by the bay at craftygardener.ca

On one of our many walks down by the bay we spotted a young heron.  My first instinct was to identify it as a young green heron but others thought it was a young night crowned heron.  It had the green legs of a night heron.  We were thrilled to see it, no matter what species it was.



27 Responses

  1. Kea

    What wonderful photo ops you have there! I rarely see a heron of any kind, and when I do, it’s usually as I’m on the bus, heading home and passing a swampy area. I did get great pics of a green heron some years back, though, in Gananoque. I was thrilled! 🙂

  2. Donna@GardensEyeView

    Always a pleasure to see your photos and these are really wonderful. While we have seen great blue herons up close right in our garden and meadow, I have not see a Green heron up close….quite beautiful!

  3. Daniel LaFrance

    You sure have a nice collection of heron photos. They are fascinating birds to watch as they wade in the water fishing.

  4. Margie

    Nice shots! I didn’t realize that there were so many types of herons.

  5. Elaine

    Fantastic photos Linda ! We get a lot of these birds in our river and in the swampy area by our river but they are very skittish as soon as they hear a noise they are out of there so I am yet to get photos of them but I love hunting for them as quietly as I can and seeing them regardless . Our Robins , Red winged black birds , the bully Grackles , Starlings are back and I just heard a Killdeer earlier this morning . Beautiful day here today warm and sunny spring is in the air . Thanks for sharing , have a good day !

    • Linda aka Crafty Gardener

      I love the challenge of getting a good heron photo and always look forward to their return in the spring. We haven’t had the red wings yet but I’m sure they will be here soon. Looks like some snowy wintery weather moving into the area overnight. But till then it is a lovey sunny day outside.

  6. Margy

    I love it when the heron comes to visit us at the cabin. He so patiently stands on our log boom to catch small fish darting in and out of the shadows. I haven’t seen him for months, but may with spring around the corner he (she?) may return. – Margy

    • Linda aka Crafty Gardener

      We always look forward to the return of the herons, frequently they can be seen flying over the house to the marshy areas. Hoping yours return this spring.

  7. BumbleVee

    I’ve never been lucky enough to see any Herons up close …. they are lovely …… and, look at the wing span!!

  8. Lea @ Lea's Menagerie

    Wonderful, beautiful Heron photos!
    I see the Great Blue Herons here quite often, but I never get tired of them. I have been lucky to see Green Herons several times, but never a Night Heron
    It is raining, raining, raining here. I went to the library yesterday and got a stack of books to read while I can’t get outside a lot
    Hope you are having a great week-end!

  9. Lea @ Lea's Menagerie

    Hello! I visited your blog earlier today, but my comment just disappeared. Maybe it will be ok this time.
    Love all the Herons! I see a lot of the Great Blue Herons here, but I am never tired of them.
    Great photos of the other Herons, too!

    • Linda aka Crafty Gardener

      Hi Lea, for some reason both your comments went to the spam section of my site, will check it out. Hopefully now I’ve approved both of them there shouldn’t be any problems next time. I never tire of seeing and photographing the herons, such tall majestic birds (well some of them are tall). We’ve been having some nice spring like weather but overnight some winter conditions are returning. I’m a great fan of the library and always have lots of books on the go. I also like to knit and crochet when I’m stuck inside. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. DougPhoto

    Linda, fantastic photos, especially of the night crowned heron. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Su-sieee! Mac

    I’ve enjoyed your photos a lot. I’ve never seen herons upclose like what I can see in your photos. Thanks! They’re gorgeous creatures.

  12. ABC Wednesday

    Beautiful birds they are

    Always on the roof here trying to feed from the fish in our pond in the garden, they don’t succeed though because our cats Always chase them away

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)

  13. Phil

    The heron family is one of my favourites too, even though we see just Little Egret and Grey Heron as a rule unil we go abroad on holiday. I like your photos today, especially the Night Heron and Green Heron. I agree that the young one is a Night Heron and it looks to be out of the nest as soon as it’s able. No messing around witing to be fed!

  14. Eileen

    Hello, wonderful captures of all the Herons. My favorite are the Night Heron and the Green heron. Beautiful post. Thankfully hubby got our generator working long enough for me to make a few comments. I will catch up on all links and blog comments asap. Thanks so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  15. Lavender Dreamer

    They are all so beautiful and I especially love the photos of them in flight. I love Herons and know how hard those are to take. Enjoy your day! Hugs!

  16. Anni @ I'd Rather B Birdin'

    The first green heron is coming into breeding plumage! You have some terrific heron photos today!

    Sharing this blog post with us at I R B B this weekend is much appreciated, thanks!

  17. Jean

    Enjoyed all the Heron photos. We usually only see the Great Blue Heron around here but I’m hoping that some day I’ll get lucky and spot a few others.

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