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Heron Landing

Heron Landing
Photo Information
Copyright: Ken Slade (Ken52) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-10-17
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT), Canon EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6, 58mm circular polarizer
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Herons, Blue Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-11-25 16:07
Viewed: 2987
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I photographed this Great Blue Heron just as it was landing on Grapevine Lake in Texas.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Ardeidae
Subfamily: Ardeinae
Genus: Ardea
Species: Ardea herodias

Geographic Range:
Great blue herons can be found in the Nearctic and Neotropical regions. During the spring and summer, they breed throughout North and Central America, the Caribbean, much of Canada and the Galapogos. Some populations migrate to Central and South America during the winter months, but do not breed there. (Ferguson, 1998)

Great blue herons always live near sources of water, including rivers, lake edges, marshes, saltwater seacoasts, and swamps. They usually nest in trees or bushes that stand near water, breeding at elevations of up to 1,500 m. They tend to avoid marine habitats along the east coast and instead live inland. (Ferguson, 1998)

Physical Description:
Great blue herons are the largest herons in North America. They stand approximately 60 cm tall and are 97 to 137 cm long. They weigh 2.1 to 2.5 kg. They have long, rounded wings, long bills that taper to a point at the end, and short tails. They also have very long necks and legs. The bills are a yellowish color and the legs are green. Great blue herons have gray upper bodies, and their necks are streaked with white, black and rust-brown. They have grey feathers on the back of their necks with chestnut colored feathers on their thighs. The males have a puffy plume of feathers behind their heads and also tend to be slightly larger than females. (Ferguson, 1998)

The oldest wild great blue heron was said to be 23 years old, but most do not live so long. The average lifespan for a great blue heron is around 15 years. As with most animals, they are most vulnerable when they are young. More than half (69%) of the great blue herons born in one year will die before they are a year old.

Great blue herons are mainly active in the mornings and at dusk when fishing is best. They are solitary predators, preferring to hunt alone. However, they do often breed in groups called colonies, and during the day they will sleep with flocks of over 100 other herons. Great blue herons are also extremely territorial and will aggressively defend their nests.

Source and more information: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ardea_herodias.html

mikou, vanderschelden, snowfalken, Matt-Bird, pvb, Argus, metcher, JPlumb, RAP, vipinbaliga has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To pvs: ThanksKen52 1 11-26 23:27
To Argus: ThanksKen52 1 11-26 23:11
To JPlumb: ThanksKen52 1 11-26 23:05
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2006-11-25 16:25]

Hi Ken.
This is excellent capture.Nice composition,perfect details.Beautiful fine shades colours on wings.Great movement-walking by water.Superb.
Greetings Milos

Hi Ken,
Great image. A lot of motion.
I should have cropped the orange stroke.
Nevertheless very good image. Taken at the decisive moment...

Hello Ken.

Excellent picture, nice colour an composition.


Hi Ken,

Just wonderful! A great picture of a beautiful bird! I like your composition, the colors and the details in the plumage. Not to mention the superb combination of blue and beige. Also the "frozen" splashing water is very nice. Your picture is very ballanced because you can find the same sand colors in the shore(?) on the top of the picture as well as in both the bird and the reflections in the water. This is the kind of technique painters use in their paintings. A real work of art! Many thanks for the great note you provided to support your work! Outstanding job! Congratulations!

Kind regards,

You caught this heron quite nicely Ken. I'd be tempted to crop out the orangish land above though.

Hi Ken,
Nice POV, I like the wings out and the ability to still see the head clearly. Most definately good timing.,

very nice, especially the water and the contrast, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-11-26 3:03]
  • [+]

Hi Ken,

a very nice action,well captured,I like the WS as well however I think it need some more space above the heron,so maybe you had to replace the orange colors by the blue of the wate using clone stamp,TFS


Çok güzel yakalanmış bir fotoğraf. Kutlarım..

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2006-11-26 5:58]

You had great timing Ken. Looks like he is walking on water.
tfs paula

Hello Ken,
I think that Annick had a great idea by thinking of cropping it but I guess that the crop you did was the maximum as we can see some pixels in WS.

This is a great action catch with excellent details and very well frozen movement. I like this low POV. IMO I just think that a little more space left would have been better but, maybe, you didn't crop it? TFS,

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-11-26 7:47]

Excellente photo,les couleurs sont extras et les détails du plumage sont parfaits.Bravo pour la composition générale et la beautée de l,oiseau.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2006-11-26 8:25]

Hello Ken,
Terrific action shot! I love the way he's displaying the wings and the colours are brilliant against the background of blue and orange. Really beautiful!
Thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2006-11-26 8:31]
  • [+]

Hi Ken,
Superb action shot capturing this landing Great Blue at a good moment. The sahrpness and light are excellent, as is the POV. If the org. allowed it, I might have cropped it differently but that's a matter of taste.
TFS, regards, Ivan

Excellent timing. Good composition and exposure, beautiful light.

Hi Ken, This is a great action shot of the Heron, you've got a very nice spread of the wings, but you can still see the head and eye. The splashing from the walk on water is an added bonus. Shots such as this one, you wish you could do over, to provide more flight room, and cut out the land, but this still turned out very well.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-11-27 12:39]

Funny scene with great freezing of the bird in action.

I like it a lot: composition, POV, DOF, focus, sharpness, color, lighting, background, framing, notes and good Workshop option.

I don't like it: nothing to argue.

Excellent post Ken.
TFS and regards... Ricardo

  • Great 
  • hibou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 217 W: 1 N: 331] (1629)
  • [2007-06-03 18:45]

Hello Ken,
great shot. colors, details and action are great.
Congratulations and TFS

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