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PIC OF THE WEEK: 03/14/11 • PREVIOUS WEEKNEXT WEEKALL 2011 PICS

Bird Pic Of The Week

Great Blue Heron

(Ardea herodias)

Where: Richmond, VA • James River Park, Pipeline Area

Notes: That morning at the heronry started out a bit more cloudy than I had hoped for, The water current was unusually high and silty from an early spring rain to the west. But the sky eventually began to show signs of clearing, so I was content to wait and enjoy the scenery. The Great Blue Herons, the largest of all North American herons, continuously flew in and out of the tallest trees of their island colony, carrying nest materials in and then exiting to retrieve more. By this time mates are paired off and nest sites have been chosen. The nests, made of mostly of sticks, are well under construction and in some cases are complete. A few birds appear to have laid their three to six eggs and have begun the twenty-eight day incubation period. I began to notice a striking pose as the males dropped downward from the nest in search of another stick. The closest place to find such materials is either on the ground below or a twig can be snapped from a lower canopy tree branch. The bird leaps from the nest diving downward with its wings acting like air-brakes to soften its landing and thread itself through the tangle of branches below. This is when I noticed this determined position happening. A little more patience and a break in the cloudiness coincided to provide the opportunity for this image.

Small Bird Photo 1

Small Bird Photo 2

iPhotoBirds Print Great Blue Heron (GBHE-H-4253)

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Print Size: 8" x 10" (with 11" x 14" Matte) . . . $40.00
Print Size: 11" x 14" (with 16" x 20" Matte) . . . $75.00

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Equipment: Canon EOS 40D • Canon 400mm Prime F-5.6 USM L Series Lens • Manfroto Tripod

Exposure: Shutter Speed = 1/2500 second • Aperture = f 7.1 • Exposure Mode = Aperture Priority • Focus Mode: One Shot • Lens (Focal) Length = 400 mm • ISO = 400 • Aprox. Camera Distance = ~75 Feet • Date Shot: 03-13-11

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