Reliable great blue herons

Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron in Danbury, CT, fall 2019.

Fall migration is in full swing and many of our spring and summer birds have left us already. Thankfully, we have great blue herons all year round. Most leave by the winter, but some remain with us (or try to at least) even through the most brutal seasons. It’s always a thrill to see great blue herons, or any birds for that matter, with a background of our famous New England fall foliage.

Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron in Danbury, CT, fall 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron in Danbury, CT, fall 2019.

For the Birds: Sights and sounds of a fall canoe ride

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron perches on one leg in a tree in Brookfield, Conn., during the fall of 2018.

Here’s the latest For the Birds column, which runs in several New England newspapers.

….

The fall drawdown on large New England lakes can make it a challenge to launch a canoe. The shoreline is often soupy and mucky, making it a dirty and dicey proposition to get in a quick paddle.

A little dirt and muck have never deterred me, however, especially when the possibility of good duck watching lies ahead. Such was the case last week when I braved the Lake Lillinonah shoreline in southwestern Connecticut to launch my canoe. Lillinonah is considered a lake because of its width, but it is really part of the Housatonic River.

Thankfully, it hadn’t rained in a few days so much of the shoreline was hardened mud. It got muckier the closer I got to the water, but I was able to leave the tail end of the canoe out far enough that my feet only sunk down about 2 or 3 inches before jumping in.

The bottom of the canoe’s interior was smeared with mud, but what the heck; it’s a canoe, a little dirt won’t hurt it. I lifted up my butt, dug in the paddle and pushed off hard. I was on my way and instantly felt the cares of the world disappear as I glided over the glassy water, surrounded by New England’s famous fall colors.

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Another (and closer) shot of the heron

Photo by Chris Bosak Great blue heron at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, CT.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Great blue heron at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, CT.

The consensus seems to be the bigger (or closer) the better. So here’s another shot of the heron that I didn’t include in the previous post. You ask for it, you get it at http://www.BirdsofNewEngland.com. Thanks for your feedback!

Great blue heron at Merganser Lake (lots of shots)

Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

It’s always nice when a bird is patient enough to let you experiment with different angles and magnifications. That was the case with this great blue heron I saw on Merganser Lake (really Lake Waubeeka) in Danbury, Conn., on Tuesday evening.

I know the photos are all very similar, but what magnification do you like?

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Great blue heron with breeding plumage in the snow

Photo by Chris Bosak A Great Blue Heron rests on a log in a pond in Danbury, Conn., March 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Great Blue Heron rests on a log in a pond in Danbury, Conn., March 2017.

Despite the 14 inches of snow that fell in Danbury, Conn., a few days ago, this Great Blue Heron is ready for spring and sporting its breeding plumage. Late winter snow falls can make for some interesting photos for sure.

Never tire of Great Blue Herons

Photo by Chris Bosak A Great Blue Heron walks in a pond in Danbury, Conn., summer 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Great Blue Heron walks in a pond in Danbury, Conn., summer 2016.

I have a stock pile of Great Blue Heron photos to last me a lifetime. Here are some more I took this week as I can’t resist driving or walking past one without taking some photos.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Great Blue Heron walks in a pond in Danbury, Conn., summer 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Great Blue Heron walks in a pond in Danbury, Conn., summer 2016.

Impressive wingspan on Great Blue Heron

Photo by Chris Bosak A Great Blue Heron comes in for a landing at a pond in New England, March 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Great Blue Heron comes in for a landing at a pond in New England, March 2016.

Not the best photo, but gives you a good idea of just how big Great Blue Herons are — especially with wings outstretched.

They are tall and skinny when standing but have a wingspan of about 6 feet. That is about the same as a Bald Eagle (although some female Bald Eagles get even bigger.)

Great Blue Herons rank high on my “favorite bird” list. I have tons of photos to prove it. Below are a few more I’ve taken over the years.

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