Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fishing...Great Blue Heron Style IV


Watching herons fish (or hunt, depending on how you see it) can be very interesting. They generally employ one of two methods. Often, they will stand nearly motionless and wait for the prey to come to them. Other times they will slowly wade as they search for a meal. When a heron spots a potential target, they will turn their head from side to side or lower it in an attempt to get a fix and prepare for the strike. A third and less often used method is for herons to dive at prey from the air. I've only witnessed this once.

Attempting to photograph herons catching a meal often requires a lot of patience as meals can be few and far between sometimes. I've watched a heron for a long time, looked away for a few seconds and then back, only to see the heron swallowing a fish. It happens that fast and you have to be ready or you'll miss it. The wait can reward you, though, which makes it worthwhile to me. Understanding the behavior of any wildlife subject can help you anticipate good shots.













56 comments:

Meggie said...

Hi Brian....you are truly an artist with the camera!

Linda said...

I am constantly amazed by your skill with the camera, Brian! These are awesome - I know you must have had to wait a good long time to get these, but they were certainly worth it! Fabulous!

Pam said...

Awesome shots, Brian. You captured his beauty and amazing fishing technique perfectly.
Nicely done.

Wanda..plain~N~simple said...

Brian, these are amazing! Your patience has indeed paid off well. Love the first photo with the reflection.

Betty Roan said...

I'm officially jealous right now. I saw a blue heron Sunday, which are hard to find here, but he took off before I could raise my camera. I got some 'in flight' shots, but they are all blurry. These are amazing. I called Hubs in from the other room to see.

Kathy said...

What a great progression - all the way to the gulp!

Debbie said...

brian, i could not wait to get here as i knew what i was going to see. you see i love barns but birds are really my passion.....and herons can make my heart stop beating!!

these are amazing, really spectaular photographs!!

talk about detail....

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh my gosh Brian -- those are beautiful photos and you are so patient as well as so talented. I've only seen a Great Blue actually catch and eat a fish twice (and we see those birds here and in Oregon often). I would love to catch that moment with a camera -- but if I did my picture wouldn't even be a tiny fraction as good as yours. Thank you for sharing the magic.

HansHB said...

Awesome shot, - this is "Bulls Eye"!
Happy WBW to you!

TexWisGirl said...

these are amazing! i never tire of seeing your GBH photos as they are stellar. i like how his head feathers are raised in several of these - almost like thick eyebrows. really spectacular shots!

Modesto Viegas said...

Great moments you have captured!
Regards,

NatureStop said...

Brian Wow,wow and wow!!! what amazing images...I absolutely agree with you when you say that the moment we turn away they finish of their meal...this time you wete lucky:)Thanks for sharing...Have a great wednesday!!!

Shantana

Frank said...

A super action series Brian ANd definitely worth all your patience.

Dawn said...

Wow! Not sure who has more patience..you or the heron;)
Great work!

Amila Kanchana said...

Wow, patience paid off,this is wildlife photography at it's best,way to go!

barbara l. hale said...

That's one satisfied heron! These photos are fantastic!! I love the detail you get. Actually, I'm jealous.

Phil said...

Just brilliant action shots BJK. You got the shutter speed spot on there.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Oh, wow Brian! Those are fantastic photos! I love the progression of the shots. You are one patient and talented photographer! If I ever get half as good I will be happy.

Gary said...

Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful images.

Crafty Gardener said...

Wow, awesome captures, especially the fish between the beak.

Carol said...

Wow, outstanding shots here!! Fantastic series!

EG CameraGirl said...

I'd love to know how you get so close without the heron knowing you are there. Great photos!

Andrew said...

Better than watching a video clip Brian... all the action with plenty of time to take it all in.

Wonderful my friend.

Dina said...

Love that splash and flip!

Judy said...

Wonderful series!!! I really love the first shot, with the beautiful reflection in the water!!

Leenie said...

The heron was quick but you were quicker!

Saun said...

Oh wow these are great!!!

Val said...

Your patience and photography skills got you some beautiful photos!!

Amy Burzese said...

What to say? Just great that you captured that! Thanks so much for sharing that series!

mick said...

Great series of action photos.

Pamela Gordon said...

These are amazing shots! Wow! I'm speechless. :)

Madge Bloom said...

Wow, fab shots!

Stewart M said...

Great set of pictures!

Stewart M – Australia

Gillian Olson said...

What a great series, how did you manage to get these amazing pictures!? :o

bailey-road.com said...

What an incredible series of shots! Your patience and photographic skills certainly paid off.

Carletta said...

Once again with your patience and expertise with the camera you have captured some stunning shots!

Hanne Bente said...

Great pictures you show of a heron.
Wishing you a good day.
Hanne Bente / hbt.finus.dk

Marie said...

This series of shots just blew me away, Brian! Not only is a great blue heron one of my favorite birds, but you managed to capture him perfectly while he hunted for a meal, captured it and ate it. And then he posed for the perfect portrait at the end! :-) Your photography is amazing! I didn't know herons ever caught fish from the air! I learned something today!

Fjällripan said...

These photos are stunning!! So great to see the heron fishing!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Magical moments captured click, click, click precision perfect Brian. A wonderful series of images, very well done. I like their look when they come up out of the water, with their feathers looking wet and wild~

Pix at Under the Oaks said...

Brian your shots of this heron are amazing! I think you "understand the behavior of your wildlife subjects" quite well!

Tanya said...

wow those are amazing shots!! look how effortlessly he tosses the fish up and catches him again!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi!!!... Great shots, and good hunting scene.. Congrat.. Un saludo..

Nancy Claeys said...

Gorgeous Brian. I love those two feathers on top of his head. Somewhat whimsical. :)

Kristy LifenReflection said...

That shot with the fish in the air between it's beak - is so cool! You really should shoot for an outdoor magazine!

T Opdycke said...

These are amazing shots! I applaud your patience and your artistic photography!

don said...

A fabulous action series of this hard-to-catch event.
Excellent!

Springman said...

Hey Brian,
It was a picture of a Blue heron flipping it's prey in mid-air that blew my mind and jump started my passion for bird photography. I think you must have had a similiar moment. Awesome stuff Sir, your instincts are first rate, must be that Michigan blood!

Michael said...

magazine worthy...fantastic

Andee said...

Amazing photos. Just an exciting set of pictures.

Tammy said...

Awesome action shots! I like how intense he is in that first shot.

Bev Evans said...

Fantastic! I am so lucky to live with the blue herons. I see them often and just last week watched one walk up the creed and spear and eat a fish. I loved it when he threw it in the air and swallowed it down. Great photography!

CameraCruise said...

Wow, amazing shots!
Love to see your shots of the Great Blue Heron.
He's so beautiful and I wish I could see him here.

Kathie Brown said...

Well worth the wait!

Lily said...

Great pictures you show of a heron.
Wishing you a good day.

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