Late yesterday afternoon an excited fellow photographer told me that that she had spotted a pair of Little Blue Herons (Egretta caerulea) at Huntley Meadows Park. I had no idea if her identification was accurate, but I knew that sightings of Little Blue Herons are pretty unusual in our area.
I rushed to the place she had described and eventually I was able to spot the two herons in the back area of a beaver pond. As I observed them from a distance, I couldn’t help but notice the mottled colors of the feathers of the one on the left. Last year a couple of juvenile Little Blue Herons, which were entirely white, spent some time at the park, but this one, which I assume is an adolescent, seemed to be transitioning to a darker plumage. The colors of the adult, which I was seeing for the first time, were equally amazing, with beautiful shades of maroon and dark blue.
After some grooming, the light-colored heron flew to another tree and shortly thereafter they both took off into the air. I was happy that I was able to get a few in-flight shots of these beautiful birds. I’ll be looking for them on my next visits to the park, but suspect they were merely making a rest stop on a longer journey.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.