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Posts Tagged ‘Butorides virescens’

Green Herons (Butorides virescens) have so much personality packed into their small bodies. This one almost seemed to be smiling as it flew by me last weekend  at Huntley Meadows Park. Perhaps it was just my imagination running away with me.

Green Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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Why do we like certain photos more than others? What makes a good image? These questions churn away in my brain every time that I have my camera in my hand and often even when my hands are empty. Sure, there are rules and guidelines and generally accepted norms, but often it comes down to personal, unexplainable preferences—I like what I like.

Last weekend I spent a lot of time observing Green Herons (Butorides virescens) at Huntley Meadows Park. I kept trying to capture action shots of the herons catching fish or flying through the air, but I pretty much came up empty-handed. Oh, I took a lot of shots and once I wade through them all there may be some decent images of the herons that I will choose to post, but none of those images really spoke to me during my initial review of the photos from that day.

I was drawn instead to some images from early in the day when a fellow photographer and I spotted a Green Heron in the trees in the distance. We were standing on a boardwalk, so there was only a limited freedom of movement to frame our shots. There was a lot of vegetation that partially obstructed our view of the heron. I searched in vain for a visual tunnel that afforded a clear view of the entire body of the heron. Still, the light was beautiful, so I kept shooting—when it comes to birds, expressions are so fleeting that it is best to shoot a lot of images.

I decided to post this shot and attempt to explain why. There are so many things that I like about this image that I am not really bothered by the leaves that blocked my view. What do I like? I love the tilted head as the heron looks to the sky and basks in the sun; I like the little head feathers that look like a cowlick; I really like the shapes and colors in the background; and I am happy that I was able to capture some details in the wing feathers.

Is it one of my best shots? No, it is not, but I choose to post images that I like and especially the ones that make me happy, like his image of a pensive, relaxed Green Heron in a tree.

green heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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This little Green Heron (Butorides virescens) somehow managed to find a perch in the midst of the thick vegetation growing out of the water yesterday morning at Huntley Meadows Park. From this higher vantage point, the heron was able to scan the area better for potential prey, though I never saw it catch anything.

Was the Green Heron imagining how much easier it would be if it were as tall as a Great Blue Heron?

green heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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This Green Heron (Butorides virescens) picked a particularly precarious perch from which to focus on a potential prey this past Monday at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Virginia.

Green Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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As the seasons change, new birds appear and disappear at my favorite marshland park—Huntley Meadows Park—in Northern Virginia. We are fortunate to be along the migratory route for birds flying north and south and are far enough south to be a destination of some overwintering birds.

Unlike the Great Blue Herons, which remain with us all year, Green Herons (Butorides virescens) leave in the autumn and I eagerly await their arrival in the spring? Why? I am utterly fascinated by these squat little birds, despite the fact they have none of the elegance of the Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets. They always strike me as industrious and diligent and go about their work, generally avoiding the spotlight. Green Herons also seem to have an abundance of personality and almost seem capable of expressing emotions. Finally, Green Herons have a subdued, but refined beauty, a beauty that I was able to capture in this image from yesterday morning.

Welcome back, Green Herons. I missed you. Perhaps it is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Green Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Although I enjoy watching the Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons at Huntley Meadows Park, the much smaller Green Herons (Butorides virescens) are my favorites. Green Herons just seem to have an amazing amount of personality packed in their compact bodies.

I think they deserve to have a “Great” in their name too.

Green Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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A Green Heron (Butorides virescens) was perched this morning on the raised edge of the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park, peering down into the murky water. Apparently the heron didn’t like what it saw, for it turned abruptly and decided to cross the boardwalk. I captured this shot as the heron was taking its first tentative step in the new direction.

Green Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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