Egrets_Herons

This page contains over 75 images and composites
of Egrets and Herons from Sanibel Island, Florida.

Click an image to open a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.

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Images in this section are in several different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Wildlife Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Images are in the Birds Collection and Featured Birds Collection
(except for the sunrise, sunset and Crocodile images)
and can be found in the following Galleries (Direct Links)

Anhinga     Assorted Shorebirds     Pintails, Teals & Ruddy Ducks
Brown Pelican          Cormorants              Ibis & Roseate Spoonbill
Falcons & Kites       Osprey       White Pelican        Assorted Birds

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BunchBeach_Sunrise_1150


Bunch Beach Sunrise 1150

A monumentally intense Florida sunrise.
This sunrise and the sunset at the bottom
of the page are on both pages of this section.

GBHeron_Sunrise_1183


Great Blue Heron Sunrise 1183

GBHeron_Sunrise_1248


Great Blue Heron Sunrise 1248

The largest North American Heron, the
Great Blue is quite skittish, but the ones
at Sanibel are the most easily approached
of any in my experience to date. I guess they
are quite used to people being around them.

GBHeron_Sunrise_1239


Great Blue Heron Sunrise 1239

The light on this heron at sunrise was spectacular, and the scene made for some
special shots. To be honest, Great Blues are so common (and I have so many good
shots of them) that I would often move on unless it was a special situation. This qualifies.

GBHeron_Sunrise_1256


Great Blue Heron Sunrise 1256

GBHeron_Sunrise_1260


Great Blue Heron Sunrise 1260

GBHeron_Sunrise_1859


Great Blue Heron Sunrise 1859

You can find quite a number of other interesting shots of Great Blue Herons
(and other egrets and herons) in the Egret and Heron Wildlife Studies section.

GBHeron_9766_9817


Great Blue Heron 9766, 9817

GBHeron_Sunset_1009


Great Blue Heron Sunset 1009

Catching the last rays near sunset.

GBHeron_Sunset_1087


Great Blue Heron Sunset 1087

GreatEgret_Flock_1602


Great Egret Flock 1602

In my experience on the West Coast, there are rarely more than a few Great Egrets in
any one place. It is therefore unusual in the extreme to see a large flock of them flying by.
I shot this and the next one simply to record my amazement... they aren’t really study shots
or up to the quality of portfolio-grade images, but I thought you might find them unusual too.

GreatEgret_Flock_1603


Great Egret Flock 1603

GreatEgret_Flight_9869


Great Egret Flight 9869

GreatEgret_onRoof_Sunrise_0135


Great Egret on Roof at Sunrise 0135

This Great Egret had found a good spot at sunrise, on top of the bait shack at Bunch Beach.
From here, he could watch for any opportunities. He didn’t miss many... and the light was nice too.

GreatEgret_Flip_0157-60


Great Egret Flip 0157-60

I have a large number of Great Egret shots taken in other locations, so I didn’t shoot many
when I was in Florida, but this scene could not be missed. Here is our hero performing the
“Flip”. This action started a real furor in the photographic community when I first posted an
image of a hunting Great Egret on Chincoteague Island doing this with a little Silversides.
All of a sudden, everyone started trying to figure out when Egrets or Herons would do it so
they could catch the ”Reznick Flip” (the birds tend to telegraph the action, but it is very fast
so you have to react accordingly. I didn’t name it, by the way). Anyway, when I posted this
(the bottom left image) everyone was sure it was Photoshop-created. Egrets and Herons
tend to do this because they can’t get prey back into their gullet any other way (they have
short tongues). Watch a bird for a while and you’ll figure out what they do before a ”Flip”.

I’m posting the entire sequence here to avoid a similar controversy.

GreatEgret_Flip_0159


Great Egret Flip 0159

For more Great Egret shots, including some spectacular flight shots and hunting images,
You may want to visit the Egrets and Herons page in the Sepulveda Wildlife Refuge section,
the Egret and Heron Wildlife Study section, and the Egrets page in the Bolsa Chica section.

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Images in this section are in several different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Wildlife Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Images are in the Birds Collection and Featured Birds Collection
(except for the sunrise, sunset and Crocodile images)
and can be found in the following Galleries (Direct Links)

Anhinga     Assorted Shorebirds     Pintails, Teals & Ruddy Ducks
Brown Pelican          Cormorants              Ibis & Roseate Spoonbill
Falcons & Kites       Osprey       White Pelican        Assorted Birds

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Green_Heron_1615


Green Heron 1615

You don’t see these that often. The Green Heron
is a small heron. They often stand like this with the
neck pulled in tight to their body. They tend to stay
back in the brush during the day, preferring dawn
and dusk for hunting. They are very skittish herons.

Green_Heron_Flight_1551


Green Heron Flight 1551

When you do get a chance to watch them for
an extended period, you may see them drop
small insects at the waters edge to try to bait
a fish. This behavior is unusual, making them
one of the few tool-using creatures. Intelligent.

LittleBlueHeron_Juvenile_atSunrise_0164


Little Blue Heron Juvenile at Sunrise 0164

LittleBlueHeron_Juvenile_atSunrise_0165


Little Blue Heron Juvenile at Sunrise 0165

Two shots of a Juvenile Little Blue Heron at Sunrise on Sanibel Island.

The Juvenile Little Blue Heron is quite similar to the Snowy Egret (comparison below).

LittleBlueHeronJuvenile_SnowyEgret_Comparison_0165_0232


Little Blue Heron Juvenile Snowy Egret Comparison 0165, 0232

As you can can see from the comparison composite above, the primary differences
between the Juvenile Little Blue Heron and the Snowy Egret are in the bill, the lores
(the unfeathered skin above the base of the bill, in front of the eye) and the leg color.

The Juvenile Little Blue Heron has a pinkish-gray bill with a black tip, fading to dark
gray on the upper part towards the base of the bill, and light yellow-green lores. The
Juvenile Little Blue Heron’s legs are a bit darker yellow-green shade than the lores.

The Snowy Egret has a black bill, bright yellow lores, and yellow-green and black legs.

LittleBlueHeron_Sunrise_0591


Little Blue Heron Sunrise 0591

LittleBlueHeron_Sunrise_0621


Little Blue Heron Sunrise 0621

An adult Little Blue Heron, hunting at sunrise.

LittleBlueHeron_1704


Little Blue Heron 1704

The Little Blue Heron doesn’t get to most of the places where I typically shoot, so this
was my first opportunity at them. I’m sure you’ll excuse me if I post a number of images.
They typically frequent warm swampy areas, and Florida is one of their favorite haunts.

You’ll notice the color difference between this bird and the ones below (the bird in the first
two images was in the golden light of sunrise, reflected off the water, and color is skewed).
The bird in this shot above is non-breeding (note the mostly blue head and neck). The mating
bird’s plumage is a purplish neck and head, which you’ll see below in the more mature birds.

LittleBlueHeron_0926


Little Blue Heron 0926

An adult Little Blue Heron, strutting across the beach.

LittleBlueHeron_0928


Little Blue Heron 0928

Groucho Marx probably learned his strut from them.

LittleBlueHeron_0931


Little Blue Heron 0931

LittleBlueHeron_0933


Little Blue Heron 0933

LittleBlueHeron_wSnake_9767-68


Little Blue Heron with Snake 9767, 9768

This Little Blue Heron caught a snake sunning itself after sunrise, and is making off with the meal.
I saw this out of the corner of my eye and whipped the lens around for the shot. I have my cameras
set to fire when I depress the shutter button even while it is acquiring focus. The first shot is a bit soft
because the camera was still tracking focus and hadn’t quite acquired a lock yet. The lower image
is a 1:1 (100%) crop of the original (it happened about 150-200 feet across the beach from me).

LittleBlueHeron_1404


Little Blue Heron 1404

A breeding adult Little Blue Heron, hunting at sunrise. Note the reddish-purple head and neck.

LittleBlueHeron_Flip


Little Blue Heron “Flip”

Yet another “Flip” shot. By the way, I love the look of long beaked birds head-on. Comical...

LittleBlueHeron_1684


Little Blue Heron 1684

A Little Blue Heron watches over the Mangrove swamp on Sanibel Island.

LittleBlueHeron_0946_51


Little Blue Heron 0946, 0951

LittleBlueHeron_Sunset_0988


Little Blue Heron Sunset 0988

A Little Blue Heron surveys the beach at sunset on Sanibel Island, Florida.

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Images in this section are in several different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Gallery Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Images are in the Birds Collection
(except for the sunrise, sunset and Crocodile images)
and can be found in the following Galleries (Direct Links)

Anhinga     Assorted Shorebirds     Pintails, Teals & Ruddy Ducks
Brown Pelican          Cormorants              Ibis & Roseate Spoonbill
Falcons & Kites       Osprey       White Pelican        Assorted Birds

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ReddishEgret_Mangrove_1589


Reddish Egret in Mangrove 1589

The Reddish Egret is another of the varieties that doesn’t often get to my ’neck of the woods’.
They are in California occasionally (I’ve seen them at Bolsa Chica before) but it is rare. There
are only 1500-2000 breeding pairs in the entire USA (mostly in Texas), so it’s understandable.

There were several in Sanibel. This was a very scenic opportunity at one, standing on the
Mangrove roots over a perfect reflection, watching and waiting for prey to approach.

ReddishEgret_Mangrove_9838


Reddish Egret Mangrove 9838

ReddishEgret_Mangrove_9833


Reddish Egret Mangrove 9833

A detail shot of a Reddish Egret standing atop
Mangrove roots in the swamp at Sanibel Island.

ReddishEgret_0619


Reddish Egret 0619

ReddishEgret_1474


Reddish Egret 1474

ReddishEgret_1483


Reddish Egret 1483

A strolling Reddish Egret at sunrise, with a White Faced Ibis feeding in the background.

ReddishEgret_0639


Reddish Egret 0639

ReddishEgret_0644


Reddish Egret 0644

ReddishEgret_0643


Reddish Egret 0643

A Reddish Egret stands atop a barnacle-encrusted root, searching for prey on Sanibel Island.

ReddishEgret_9844


Reddish Egret 9844

The Reddish Egret Strut.

ReddishEgret_1626


Reddish Egret 1626

ReddishEgret_9853


Reddish Egret 9853

ReddishEgret_1620


Reddish Egret 1620

A Reddish Egret surveys a tide pool at mid-morning on Sanibel Island, Florida.

Sunburst3

Images in this section are in several different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Gallery Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Images are in the Birds Collection
(except for the sunrise, sunset and Crocodile images)
and can be found in the following Galleries (Direct Links)

Anhinga     Assorted Shorebirds     Pintails, Teals & Ruddy Ducks
Brown Pelican          Cormorants              Ibis & Roseate Spoonbill
Falcons & Kites       Osprey       White Pelican        Assorted Birds

Sunburst3
SnowyEgret_FlightStudy


Snowy Egret Flight Study

 Egrets and Herons fly with their neck retracted and use their crest to blend the
neck and back feathers to reduce drag. It is a very aerodynamic flight position.

SnowyEgret_atSunrise_0207c


Snowy Egret at Sunrise 0207c

I always smile at the look of long-beaked birds head-on.

SnowyEgret_Sunrise_1888


Snowy Egret Sunrise 1888

Strutting out of the water just as the sun comes up on Bunch Beach.

SnowyEgret_wPrey_Sunrise_0183


Snowy Egret with Prey Sunrise 0183

SnowyEgret_wPrey_Sunrise_0178


Snowy Egret with Prey Sunrise 0178

This fellow was competing with the gulls
and the Great Egret shown above for the
fish near the pier (and the bait shack).

SnowyEgret_wPrey_Sunrise_0188


Snowy Egret with Prey Sunrise 0188

SnowyEgret_LosingPrey_Sunrise_0190


Snowy Egret Losing Prey Sunrise 0190

A gull diving on a fish startled the Snowy Egret
enough so that he dropped his fish in the drink.

SnowyEgret_LosingPrey_Sunrise_0191


Snowy Egret Losing Prey Sunrise 0191

He took a step back but didn’t
even attempt to reacquire his fish.

SnowyEgret_FishStory_XXL


Snowy Egret Fish Story XXL
“I had this great fish, and then this seagull came along and...”

click for 1500 x 1079 version

Available as an XXL Composite (5483 x 3943)

SnowyEgret_wPrey_Sunrise_0200


Snowy Egret with Prey Sunrise 0200

He caught another one almost right away. This one is quite a bit larger too...

SnowyEgret_Sunrise_0236


Snowy Egret Sunrise 0236

SnowyEgret_Sunrise_0232


Snowy Egret Sunrise 0232

SnowyEgret_Sunrise_0248


Snowy Egret Sunrise 0248

SnowyEgret_Sunrise_0240


Snowy Egret Sunrise 0240

SnowyEgret_Sunrise_0252


Snowy Egret Sunrise 0252

A Snowy Egret surveys Bunch Beach at sunrise on Sanibel Island, Florida.

SnowyEgret_Sunrise_0245_248


Snowy Egret Sunrise 0245, 248

For more images of Snowy Egrets, including some spectacular hunting sequences, visit the
Sepulveda Refuge section, the Bolsa Chica section, and the Egret and Heron Wildlife Study.

Sunburst3

Images in this section are in several different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Gallery Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Images are in the Birds Collection
(except for the sunrise, sunset and Crocodile images)
and can be found in the following Galleries (Direct Links)

Anhinga     Assorted Shorebirds     Pintails, Teals & Ruddy Ducks
Brown Pelican          Cormorants              Ibis & Roseate Spoonbill
Falcons & Kites       Osprey       White Pelican        Assorted Birds

Sunburst3
Tricolored_Heron_1628


Tricolored Heron 1628

Tricolored_Heron_1637


Tricolored Heron 1637

The Tricolored Heron is a bit larger than the Reddish Egret, and is resident
in the sub-tropical swamps of the Gulf States, Central and South America. It is
another bird that does not frequent the areas in which I normally shoot, so it is a
bird which I encountered only when shooting in Florida during a training session.

Tricolored_Heron_1643


Tricolored Heron 1643

Formerly called the Louisiana Heron, the Tricolored Heron is a bit under two feet tall.
Tricolors have a blue-gray neck, head, back and wings, a white stripe down the neck,
yellow lores and legs, and in breeding season the base of the neck and the back is a
reddish-purple. This bird has quite a lot of character, and I think that one fell in love
with my camera. You’ll see what I mean in a series of shots shown further below.

Tricolored_Heron_1634


Tricolored Heron 1634

Tricolored_Heron_1650


Tricolored Heron 1650

A Tricolored Heron stands on a bank formed of sediment and embedded shell, scanning the swamp for prey.
At right is a shot taken after the bird hopped on a promontory atop the bank for a better look at the swamp.
It offers an excellent view of the reddish-purple plumes adorning the back of this strikingly-colored bird.

Tricolored_Heron_0383


Tricolored Heron 0383

A Tricolored Heron stands atop a precarious perch, scanning for its next meal.

Tricolored_Heron_2131


Tricolored Heron 2131

Tricolored_Heron_1550


Tricolored Heron 1550

Three shots of Tricolored Herons walking through the swamp. The Heron shown above right is one which
seemed to be infatuated with my camera lens. Below is a more detailed shot of the bird shown above left.

Tricolored_Heron_2138


Tricolored Heron 2138

Tricolored_Heron_1533


Tricolored Heron 1533

The obligatory frontal portrait. I love this look...

I think that this bird was infatuated either with me or my long camera lens.
It performed a mating display. Below are a few of the images and a preview
of part of the sequence in a SXXL composite image. You’re going to enjoy this.

Tricolored_Heron_1534


Tricolored Heron 1534

Tricolored_Heron_Display_1535


Tricolored Heron Display 1535

Tricolored_Heron_Display_1537


Tricolored Heron Display 1537

Tricolored_Heron_Display_1541


Tricolored Heron Display 1541

Tricolored_Heron_Display_1542


Tricolored Heron Display 1542

The Heron paused in the middle of the display to give me his “cute” look.

Tricolored_Heron_Display_1543


Tricolored Heron Display 1543

Tricolored_Heron_Display_1548M


Tricolored Heron Display 1548 M

Taa-Daaah!  This is the only time a bird has ever done a mating display specifically for me.

Tricolored_Heron_Display_SXXL


Tricolored Heron Display SXXL

A 1200 x 1228 preview of the SXXL Composite (6130 x 6271)
which shows 12 of the images taken during the mating display.

Tricolored_Heron_Flight_1599


Tricolored Heron Flight 1599

A Tricolored Heron in flight from almost directly below. My only opportunity at a close flight shot of this bird.

Yellow-Crowned_NightHeron_2086


Yellow-Crowned Night Heron 2086

This fellow is the Eastern relative of one of my
favorite birds, the Black-Crowned Night Heron.

Yellow-Crowned_NightHeron_2117


Yellow Crowned Night Heron 2117

They usually hunt at night (hence the name),
but this fellow was stalking prey at mid-day.

Yellow-Crowned_NightHeron_1565-75


Yellow-Crowned Night Heron 1565, 1575

A portrait study of a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

BunchBeach_Sunset_1829


Bunch Beach Sunset 1829

A dramatic Gulf Coast sunset...

Sunburst3

Images in this section are in several different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Wildlife Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Images are in the Birds Collection and Featured Birds Collection
(except for the sunrise, sunset and Crocodile images)
and can be found in the following Galleries (Direct Links)

Anhinga     Assorted Shorebirds     Pintails, Teals & Ruddy Ducks
Brown Pelican          Cormorants              Ibis & Roseate Spoonbill
Falcons & Kites       Osprey       White Pelican        Assorted Birds

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Anhinga_Stork


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Anhinga to Wood Stork page

Egrets_andHerons


My most extensive single Wildlife portfolio, the Egrets and Herons Wildlife Study
contains 175 large, detailed images of 10 different species of these fascinating birds
compiled from over 800 portfolio-grade images taken in California, Florida and New Mexico.

Click the Display Composite above to visit the Egrets and Herons Wildlife Study page

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