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PIC OF THE WEEK: 11/10/14 • PREVIOUS WEEKNEXT WEEKALL 2014 PICS

Bird Pic Of The Week

Great Blue Heron

(Ardea herodias)

Where: Newport News, VA • Lions Bridge

Notes: While doing some research for a recent presentation on the Great Blue Heron rookery that is located within the city limits of Virginia’s state capital, I was amazed that the nests actually show up on satellite images taken from over a hundred miles up. This is one of the only urban rookeries in the country and it provides a unique opportunity to view the lifecycle of these amazing birds. The males arrive as early as mid February or early March. Nests from previous years are claimed or new nests are built entirely. Once a partner is acquired, they remain monogamous for the year. Nest building and courtship displays seem to go on endlessly until the three to six light blue eggs are laid, usually at 2 day intervals. The males usually take a ten hour shift of the incubation duty per day, with the females covering the rest of the time and nights. In just under a month the chicks hatch and food gathering becomes the main activity. Feeding coincides with the annual run of Herring up the James River. Located at the first rapid above the tidal zone, the rookery is well positioned, so that these large wading birds do not have to look far for fish to feed their hungry youngsters. They will fledge at about two and a half months old. This nesting colony started around 2003 as a Heronry, with Great Blues only, and now has over forty nests including about a half dozen Great Egrets. The birds did not return for the 2015 season.

Small Bird Photo 1
Richmond, VA rookery • MAP
GPS: 37.533294,-77.435627

Small Bird Photo 2

iPhotoBirds Print Great Blue Heron (GBHE-H-4578)

Archival quality fine art print, standard size for easy framing, hand signed by the artist, with white matte, backing board and clear protective cover. Image cropping may vary slightly depending on print size.
Print Size: 5" x 7" (with 8" x 10" Matte) . . . $20.00
Print Size: 8" x 10" (with 11" x 14" Matte) . . . $40.00
Print Size: 11" x 14" (with 16" x 20" Matte) . . . $75.00

Shipping and Handling is $5.95 TOTAL PER ORDER TOTAL (US Mail), no matter how many items purchased. Virginia State sales tax applies to in state shipping addresses.

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Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark III • Canon 400mm f-5.6 Prime USM L Series Lens • Gitzo 3531LS Tripod • Wimberly Head WH-101

Exposure: Shutter Speed = 1/5000 second • Aperture = f-5.6 • Exposure Mode = Aperture Priority • Focus Mode: One Shot • Lens (Focal) Length = 400 mm • ISO = 400 • Aprox. Camera Distance = ~35 Feet • Date Shot: 05-09-14

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