Reader Pete Moulton took these lovely bird photos in Arizona. The notes below are his, and you can click on both photos to enlarge them.
Here are a couple of photos from my home patch in Phoenix that you might like. The little Green Heron is my all-time favorite avian subject, which I’ve probably mentioned before. The duck is a drake Hooded Merganser, which has been present at the same pond for about the last three weeks. He’s a bit of a rockstar, and dozens of birders have been to see and photograph him.
Green heron (Butorides virescens):
Hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus), male. Now that’s a duck!
I’ll add a photo of the female merganser (from Wikipedia) to show the striking sexual dimorphism:
17 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs: Green heron and hooded merganser”
I love that Green heron shot!
Thanks, gbjames. They’re every bit as expressive as Roadrunners, but more colorful and a lot easier to find and photograph.
Very nioce ones Pete! What equipment did you use? Cheers!
Thanks, JBlilie. I took these with my trusty old Canon T1i and image-stabilizing 100-400mm lens. Both are full-frame shots at less than 300mm focal length.
Very nice, you really got close! Thanks for sharing the data.
Here’s a green heron in the pond behind our house (both with SIGMA 150-500 with OS, maxed out, Pentax K-5, range about 80 feet, hand-held, cropped):
In the second shot, he/she’s on the turtle island I made to give the turtles a safe place to haul out:
In this shot, after winter’s ice messed with it. it’s upside down
In this one, there are sixteen turtles on it!
Great shots! That’s definitely a herd of turtles!
Wonderful heron pic.
Thank you, Rob.
What part of the Valley did you find them? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen one of those ducks at the Zoo, but I don’t recall seeing the heron.
Ben, these are both from the Papago Park ponds between the Zoo and the Botanical Garden. The little herons seem most numerous and easiest to see at the middle pond of the three. The merganser can be on any of the three ponds, but lately he’s been at the one nearest the Zoo most often. He’s a diver, so it may take some patience to find him.
Ah — right next to Hole-in-the-Rock, one of my favorite parts of the Valley. Haven’t been there in a while…this could be a good excuse to make a pilgrimage….
Exactly right, Ben. Enjoy your trip!
Thank you, Diana!
I’ve never seen these birds until now, and lately it seems the same couple of dozen sparrows are the only feathered friends flying around outside my window. I’d love it if these beautiful (and unusual in my experience) flyers came ’round for a long visit.