I love great blue herons. Here in the north Quabbin area there are loads of them. But finding a nest you can watch can be tricky some years. Enjoy the photos I've taken over the past few years of these great birds.
I was photo bombed today by an otter family while taking pictures of this great blue heron fishing. 7/8/15
One day I saw this heron sitting there on his fishing grounds in the pouring rain. I watched as it just poured and he just sat there looking about for a meal. I don't know who get wetter, him of I ?
A young great blue heron puffs himself up to look bigger to another heron as he defends his fishing yards.
A great blue heron can stand at attention like a stone for many minutes at a time after spotting a frog, snake, minnow or large bullhead as you will see in a few frames.
Another green heron fishing for breakfast at a Quabbin watershed swamp....8/29/16
After watching and waiting for the right time it strikes. A great blue heron diving after a catfish.
Here he is coming out with a fish….
After stabbing and it many times he swallowed it on one gulp. He looks like he is wondering if it was the right decision !! 6/20/15
A juvenile green heron is watching the world go by in a hollowed out stump. 8/25/16
A great blue heron takes a break from fishing for breakfast to preen. They spend hours and hours preening each day. Sometimes after each dive. Quabbin watershed. 6/25/15
I watched this great blue heron stalk and catch a big catfish. Here he has it in his beak with weeds after he grabbed it at his feet. 6/20/15
Young of the year great blue herons are leaving their nests and starting to show up in the local swamps, ponds and waterways. Here is a young one I found fishing today in Petersham. 7/19/16.
I've been watching this injured heron all spring/summer. Today I was able to see monofiliment fishing ling wrapped around his leg and cutting into his skin. I fear this will do him in although as you can see here he is still eating like a hog !! 8/16/15
A young great blue heron probably fledged within the last 3 week to a month came wading right by me today. I couldn't resist its antics. 7/18/16
As the chicks grow and get older the meals slow down coming to the chicks.
Great blue heron chicks getting fed. Quabbin Reservoir watershed. 6/24/15
He hops from mud patch to mud patch looking for fish, frogs, snakes and anything else that might make a good meal. Quabbin watershed. 6/23/15
This is better than hopping about in a marsh when your a great blue heron ! Quabbin watershed.
I've had more fun watching this great blue heron this spring/summer ! He's very photogenic and a real clown. He's always glad to see me :)
The same heron strikes a nice frog for a snack right in front of me. I though we were buddies but he didn't offer me any.
"Dads here with lunch !" Two of three great blue heron chicks are greeting dinner from one of their parents landing. The third chick has already left the nest. I suspect these 2 will be gone from the nest within a week. 6/29/16
This great blue heron jumped from near the top of a pine tree about 150 feet up to the shore of a beaver pond at Quabbin. Or maybe he thought he was a peregrine falcon ? 7/23/15
Ive seen this heron take a ton of fish and frogs this summer. I figured out his best fishing spots and he has gotten used to me taking pictures (I think?……) 7/28/15
A great blue heron attends to its feathers in the early morning sunlight. They spend hours on feather repair and maintenance. 6/6/16
This heron jumped right into the water head first from this stump right in front or me today. I don't know who was more surprised, me or him ! 7/28/15
Here is my pal GwarKK! with his catch of the day. These great blue herons are amazing birds and a ton of fun to watch. Ive spent hours and hours watching and photographing this guy. I know where his favorite fishing stumps are and all I have to do is wait! 8/1/15
This great blue heron stabs at breakfast. The water in the beaver ponds is slowly dropping and its making great fishing grounds for these guys..... 6/2/16
Changing of the guard….. 4/26/15
"Lucy, Im home" GB herons investigating an old nest possibility for use as a new one. 4/26/15
Ive been watching these herons from a far distance once a week for the last month or so because I knew there were eggs they were incubating and herons will move at the drop of a pin. Today I hiked in, crept up to where I could see through the trees and there they were ! 3 scruffy little great blue herons...
A new lens arrived today and this was one of the first photos I took. A juvenile great blue heron hopping through a swamp looking for supper. 9/21/15
This great blue heron just glides silently to a landing. One landed 15 feet from me a few weeks ago and I never heard it coming in until it dropped right beside me. I don't know who was more surprised, me or the heron! 9/15/15
A juvenile great blue heron spent 25 minutes chasing minnows in a small pond that was made at Quabbin by low water. Here are a couple of photos. 9/28/15
A second shot of the same gb heron catching minnows. 9/28/15
And as soon as dad arrives home, mom leaves as she's been sitting with the 3 great blue heron chicks all night.. "see ya later chump feed them and babysit for a while" 7/9/17
"Mommmm !! We're HERONS, not beavers, we want fish to eat, not sticks !"
Early morning sun arrives at the same time as dad does with the fish for breakfast...... 7/9/17
I spotted this great blue heron nest with three chicks this morning about 200 yards out in a swamp. It was at eye level and not 60 feet up in a tree like they usually are. Within 15 minutes the second adult arrived with dinner ! 7/5/17
A great blue heron lifts off from a local beaver pond today.......6/30/17
A great blue heron snaps up a fish along the shore of Quabbin early this morning. It was in a small pond along the shore that had some stranded fish in it because of the low water. 8/11/16
Im going to miss these goofy guys when they head out for the winter. This great blue heron got a salad with his catfish ! 9/18/16
Green herons are starting to wander about after raising their families as are the great blues. This guy showed up with a couple others at the beaver pond a few weeks ago and today was the first time I actually got good photos. 8/2/15
All herons are very alert birds and this one was no exception. They can raise their crest at will. 8/2/15
A cousin of the GB herons these little guys sure are great fish/frog catchers. They also have the patience of a rock when it comes to hunting for lunch. 8/16/15
You best be careful waving your fish around when a family of otters are swimming around the pond! 8/16/15
This green heron was setting right in a swamp on the side of the road I drove by this afternoon. I shot this out the window of my car with a Nikon 80-400mm f4.5 and my D810...sometimes its to easy !!
I caught this dispute over fishing rights this morning between 2 green herons, obviously one lost ! 9/3/16
another green heron makes breakfast appears !!
I waited 5 hours for this green heron to land on this stump and start fishing ! 8/27/15
" It must be the water in this pond"......
(green heron and female belted kingfisher) 8/27/16
Another smashing green heron day ! This young one was thinking Olympics ! 9/8/16
I looked up just in time to catch this green heron coming in for a landing on this rock in front of me just in time to swivel the camera around on my tripod and catch him about to open his wings.. these guys crack me up ! 9/10/16
A green heron has a nice catfish for breakfast. 9/4/16
A great egret stretches his wings after preening. 8/18/15
Wonderful birds ! I look forward to seeing them when they start wandering around Quabbin in August. With some luck you can see them off of the lower end of the gate 35 road in the large phragmites patch north of Mt L. 8/16/15
Great egrets are beautiful birds that show up in August every year around the Quabbin area. They can be found along the CT River also. They are easy to see because they are pure white with black legs. Snowy egrets look the same except they have yellow legs. 8/16/15
Can you spot the great blue heron, great egret, green heron and otter in this photo? 8/22/15
A great egret preens on top of a beaver lodge where he can see the pond while preening. 8/22/15
A great egret shines like a pearl in the first morning sunlight. 9/4/15
I spent the day with about 30 to 40 great egrets in south western MA. These birds are great to watch and wander in the late summer after nesting season ends for them. 9/1/16
Another great egret coming in for a landing. 9/1/16
Bingo..... lunch for this great egret. 9/1/16
This crack of dawn great blue heron came gliding into the swamp as the sun was just starting to come thru the trees..... the best time of day! 8/30/16
The look on this great blue heron's face as this green heron buzzes him just cracked me up when I saw it on my computer screen !! 8/27/16
The last juvenile green heron sits above a beaver lodge in this mornings fog wondering if he should head south on a journey he has never taken and must use his instincts, or hang around for a while as his 2 buddies have left within the last 2 days. 9/16/16 !
I was watching this green heron when all of a sudden he turned around fast and leaped off his branch and disappeared. 7/26/17
A green heron preens in the early morning sunlight in a small beaver pond in the Quabbin. These herons are so dainty with their beaks when it comes to their feathers. 6/21/17
This great blue heron was doing a happy dance today in his pond...... what a laugh it was !! 7/26/17
"Yikes!! There's holes in my wing !"
I love this stuff !! Unfortunately the third chick in this nest died 2 weeks ago, but thats nature. Look at the faces on the chicks when they spot dear old dad flying in with breakfast. You have to laugh at them.... 7/22/17
I watched this great blue heron for almost 4 hours today in the pouring rain (thus the grainy image). I estimate he caught and ate almost 20 small fish! When I left he was still going and I was soaking wet ! 8/15/17
Two juvenile green herons were chasing each other around the swamp this morning. I love to watch these birds fish. 7/13/17
I spent the morning on Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on the north coast of Massachusetts. Great egrets were everywhere, her's one that was on the side of the road in the marshland. 8/25/17
I watched this young great blue heron spend 90 minutes fishing right in front of me today. Good thing he likes fish for breakfast! 9/8/17
Great blue herons are starting to show up on their nesting grounds.
I spent the morning with a pair of great blue herons working on their nest.... It was incredible to watch the weather get worse and worse and the male kept on dragging sticks into the nest for the female to work into the nest. 4/10/18
The same herons wondering why they came north so early .
Great blue herons have quite a ceremony every time they change nest setting partners. Here is one of them coming in early in the morning. 5/10/18
And 2 minutes later the other one leaves to go get some breakfast and take a break after setting all night on the eggs. 5/10/18
An adult great blue heron drops in with breakfast for the three chicks that are all hunkered down in the nest, (6/18/18)
Of the three herons left in the nest as of last Monday, only one was left yesterday (6/22/18). The other two have fledged already. here is feeding time late in the day on the 22nd.
As I was sitting in the woods this morning along a beaver pond, something caught my eye. I looked up and 2 great blue herons were gliding in for breakfast.
With the hot 90+ degree week coming up I hope these 3 great blue heron chicks fledge the nest in the next day or 2. It will get mighty hot setting in the sun all day long.
I watched these herons build and take care of three chicks this spring starting when they arrived back in late March. Here they are working on the nest.
This great blue heron enjoys a good shake to get the feathers back in line after a long preening in the early morning sun,
Here is a seven foot wingspan of this great blue heron… they look large and heavy but they only weigh between 5 to 7 pounds.
Ive seen great blue herons pick up some large pout in beaver ponds but this was in the Connecticut River. I think this fish would be a carp. I was quite surprised when he came up with it.
Photobomb ! Two great blue herons having a fishing area argument!
A tundra swan comes crashing in for a landing at the Turners Falls power canal. Its been drained down for repairs so lots of waterfowl and shorebirds crammed into a small pond.
These 4 great egrets were all fishing in this small pond that was not far from the CT River.
It won’t be long before these great egrets are heading south for the winter. The show up each year from the coast between July and August, then all leave as quickly as they arrive.
Down the hatch !
Here’s a photo I took in summer of 2016. There are 4 great blue herons in the nest. An adult and 3 chicks at feeding time. Can you see the chick on the bottom upside down trying to catch some fish from mom ?
This mated pair of great blue herons spent most of the morning repairing their nest from winters damage. They mate for life and will also use the same nest year after year or until it blows down.
You can see the male great blue heron sneaking up behind the female to deliver her another stick to place in the nest. He collects, and she places as in all GBH pairs.
It’s that time of year when the goofy Great Blue Herons are rebuilding the nests from overwintering and doing their mating dances.
Great Blue Herons are back on their local nest. YAY !!
Nothing gets in the way of a great blue heron when it comes to catching fish!
All in 8 days, these great blue herons built a new nest, mated, and in the process of laying eggs. Still a little building to do. Its going to be a close call if these guys can fledge chicks. The chicks will have a challenge to have enough time to gain enough strength to migrate this fall. Great dissipating fog this morning in the swamps. Did I mention mosquitoes??
Today was hatch day for the local great blue herons. I’m not sure how many but they hatched sometime within the last 24 hours. I won’t know for a few weeks until I see heads popping up how many chicks they have. Great blues Usually produce between 2 or 3 chicks.
I was given a tip about these 10 rare Sandhill Cranes today. They were in a large swamp/bog in Royalston MA. A pair of bald eagles also live in this large swamp. They left at about 1:30 and headed dead north on their way migrating. A great sight.
A late nesting great blue heron pair works soon getting up a new nest. The male brings in the sticks and the female places them where she wants them, and this goes on over and over for 3 to 4 days until she is ready for eggs.