Readers’ wildlife photos

February 3, 2021 • 8:00 am

Thanks to several readers who sent me photos, but I’m still in need of more. If you have good wildlife photos, please round up a few and send them on to me.

John Avise contributes one of his “themed” bird posts today. His captions are indented, and click on the photos to enlarge them.

Heron Heads

Herons, egrets, and bitterns (family Ardeidae) are graceful, stately birds with long necks (sometimes folded back onto the body), long legs, and straight spear-like bills that they use to catch fish, frogs, and other prey items, often while wading in shallow waters.  Because they may stand nearly motionless while waiting for their quarry to come within reach, it’s sometimes possible to get close-up views of their impressive heads and bills.  Here are some head portraits of ardeids that I’ve taken over the years in California and Florida.

Black-crowned Night Heron adult, Nycticorax nycticorax:

Another Black-crowned Night Heron:

Black-crowned Night Heron juvenile:

Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias:

Another Great Blue Heron:

Yet another Great Blue Heron:

Green Heron, Butorides virescens:

Tricolored Heron, Egretta tricolor:

Another Tricolored Heron:

Little Blue Heron adult, Egretta caerulea:

Little Blue Heron juvenile:

Reddish Egret, Egretta rufescens:

Great Egret, Ardea alba:

Another Great Egret:

Snowy Egret, Egretta thula:

Another Snowy Egret:

Yet another Snowy Egret:

Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis:

American Bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus:

18 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. “If you have good wildlife photos, please round up a few and send them on to me.” he says without leaving a clear email address anywhere at all…

    1. You know, you could have been more polite about your comment. I am not “he”. Virtually every reader here knows, because I say it periodically, that my email address can be found by clicking “research interests” at the upper right of the screen. That’s where pictures go.

      It’s not good policy to put an email address in a post, as it can be trawled and used for nefarious purposes. Get it?

    2. Bruno: You might also want to read the “Da Roolz, (Commenting Guidelines)” on the left hand on the screen, and scroll down.

  2. Love the close-ups of the herons and egrets. We can see almost all of them here on the Gulf Coast.

    1. You shouldn’t have any egrets about not knowing the relations, nor should you be bittern about it.
      Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

  3. I had a weird encounter with a cattle egret on Maui last year. I was walking along some paths that were bordered with shrubbery when the egret started closely following me. It kept following me, periodically diving into the shrubbery to catch and eat a gecko. I made several turns to make sure it was actually following me. It was. After about half a mile and ten geckos, we parted ways. I keep wondering why the egret did this. The best I can come up with is that somehow I was spooking the geckos in the shrubbery alerting the egret to their presence.

  4. Lovely photos. It is true that many heron species typically stand and wait for fish or other prey to swim into range but this is by no means the only hunting method used. Some species tend to be very active – reddish egrets for example could be described as hyper active. Snowy egrets and Little Egrets (very similar species from different sides of the Atlantic) also tend to be quite active hunters though they also adopt sit and wait tactics depending on the habitat and the prey they are feeding on.

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