Great Egret

Here are some more photographs from my trip to the Venice Rookery. It is nesting time and there was a lot of activity on the island. I think I need a more powerful telephoto lens so that I can get closer. I also learned a lot about how to get sharper images so I could have cropped these – but my learning was at the expense of this batch.

Anyway, what I didn’t notice until I downloaded these photos, are the two infants in the nest on the right. It appears that the Egret on the left is looking for some action and the one on the bottom appears to be sitting on a nest.

Rookery 041

All seemed to be in a family frame of mind. Both males and females have mating plumage from January until early summer so I was able to see families at different stages of breeding. There were two birds sitting on branches on the other side of the pond and I was told by another visitor that they were juvenile Great Blue Herons. When I checked my Smithsonian Birds of Florida book, they didn’t match the description. I think they are juvenile Great Egrets – notice the lime green legs. Can anyone confirm this for me?

Rookery 229

This one seems to be still looking for a mate.

Rookery 126

There were birds that were flying down to the edge of the pond not far from where I was standing to search for just the right twigs for a nest, then would fly off to do the work. Both males & females build the nest and they look similar.

Rookery 285

Rookery 019

They are very impressive when they spread their wings and fly. They are 37-41 inches long with a wing span of 55 inches.

Rookery 108

I am having great fun getting to know the birds of Florida and have a new appreciation for how much I learned about Michigan birds as I was growing up. Photography is speeding up the learning curve. It was also fun to run over to Barnes & Noble to pick out a couple of reference books – one on birds and one on shells.

 

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20 Comments »

  1. I think you have some great white heron’s there…and the youngin’s! It is rare to see the babies in the nest and they stay juvenile for quite some time. Great catch! I bet you could submit those awesome photos somewhere birdy!

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    • Thanks, Tawny. You seem to know something about them. Thanks for the info – taking them was pretty exciting. The photos look good for blogging but aren’t high enough quality for professional submission, My error in settings. 🙂

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      • My love is the Great Blue and I started learning all about Fl birds in my wheelchair days. Quality might not matter since nestlings are rare to capture! Never know…you definitely have an eye.

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  2. I know you were playing with using faster shutter speeds Pat, and in that 4th image (the one of the egret flying over the water) you did a great job, not only of stopping motion but of having things in sharp focus. Great!

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