Saturday, February 17, 2007

Heron and Egret

I almost drove by this egret because I would be shooting into the sun. Wow! I'm really glad I didn't. With the light showing through its wings, you can even see the bone structure. I was able to take several really good shots of this bird (probably the best of the day), and get some interesting close ups.

Look at the markings on this bird's eyes.

This is a Great Egret, by the way. I was fascinated by the slenderness of the neck. I'm not sure how the bird gets anything down to its crop! Did you know that these big birds have the same number of bones in their necks as smaller birds have? (It's similar to giraffe's and other short-necked animals having the same number of bones -- I guess they're just a lot longer!)

This Great Blue Heron started when we drove by and flew to another place in the field. Unfortunately, these shots did not come out as clearly as the egret.

This bird also seems a bit more gray than other birds I have seen, which suggests it may be a juvenile.

When I looked these birds up in the bird book, I discovered that they are both of the same genus: Ardea. All of the other Egrets (except the Cattle Egret) and the Tricolored and Little Blue Herons are of the genus Egretta. Interesting...


Lee said...

Your photographs are tremendous, Stormy...I'm glad Marc pointed in the right direction! :)

Stormy said...

Thanks Lee! That shot of the great egret flying is one of my favorites (for a non-hawk shot ;-). I only regret that I couldn't get the whole bird in the shot.