Friday, August 10, 2012

Great Blue Heron & the Tricolored Heron

Great Blue Heron

We've all seen the Great Blue Heron, either standing in a shallow pond or the backwater of a river, probing for for small fish and other aquatic life.  They are our largest herons, and indeed seem much larger than they really are.  When I was a kid, and a hunter, I accidentally shot one, thinking it was a goose!!  I was only about eleven years old, and yes, I felt just terrible about it.  I went to pick it up, and it could not have weighed more that a couple of pounds...all feathers.  I continued hunting for about twenty more years, but just a little bit of the joy was taken out of hunting, especially when I would reflect back on that awful day

My father, who instilled the love of hunting in me, grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin, along the banks of the Mississippi. Just upriver was the town of Onalaska.  When he would see one these magnificent flying birds, with his long neck curled back, he would shout out, "There goes the Onalaska Clipper."

Tricolored  Heron
While in the south of Texas, we saw a somewhat smaller and more slender cousin, the Tricolored Heron, a bird with a really long neck and bill.  He is described as a "foraging bird, very active and dashing".  I don't know about the "dashing" part, but I suppose if I were a female Heron, I might indeed be turned on by this handsome devil.

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