Great Blue Herons

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See New  Heron Photos Below the Engravings!

 


THE GREAT BLUE HERONS TAKE FLIGHT

Engraving , Relief Sculpture and Oil on Purcell Mountain Slate Stone
Size: 10" High,  9" Wide,  1" thick, Weight: 1- pounds
Artist: Elaine Sell Prefontaine 


"SOLD" 
This, my first Heron creation, has been sold to my neighbors in Columere Park.

 

 

 


 


PHOTOS AND NATURE NOTES

THE GREAT BLUE HERON  (Ardea herodias)

 

"GREAT BLUE HERON MATRIARCH "
March 30, 2013

 

 

 

"TWO GREAT BLUES IN THE BLUE "
March 30, 2013

 

 

 

"GREAT BLUE HERON SKIES "
March 30, 2013

 

 

 

"GREAT BLUE COMES IN FOR A LANDING"
March 30, 2013

 

 

 

"GREAT BLUE HERON IN FLIGHT "
A DISTINCTIVE PROFILE CRUISES OVER COLUMBIA LAKE 
September 7, 2012

 

 

"GREAT BLUE HERON WADES WETLANDS "
HOODOOS IN BACKGROUND 
September, 2012

 


 

"GREAT BLUE HERON IN WETLANDS "
Wetlands on northern shores of Columbia  Lake
Columbia Lake Provincial Park in background
6:00 p.m., September 6, 2012

 

 

"TAKE OFF"
August 26, 2009

 

 

FREQUENTING THE NORTHERN SHORES OF COLUMBIA LAKE
June 24, 2008

 


 A GREAT BLUE HERON STANDS IN OUR 'RAMSAR DESIGNATED'  WETLANDS
 - TAKEN ON  ONE OF MY MANY CANOE TRIPS ALONG THE NORTHERN SHORES OF COLUMBIA LAKE
August 13, 2007



Living within several miles of a Great Blue Heron colony in the Columbia Valley wetlands area at the northern end of Columbia Lake, I have the privilege of seeing these huge intriguing birds cruising the skies almost daily in the summer months. Their graceful blue-grey bodies are easily recognizable in flight with their 6' wingspans, long legs trailing behind and long necks folded back over their shoulders in an S form. Being members of the waders family they are distinguishable from cranes in flight because of their crooked necks. These birds are fast fliers cruising at speeds of 19 to 29 mph.

It is interesting to watch them wading through the wetland reeds on their long narrow greyish legs in their quest to spear fish, frogs or small garter snakes. When I am canoeing on Columbia Lake and they see me nearing them, they strike a still stance remaining almost totally camouflaged in the reeds till I paddle on. Herons stand 4' tall and when I use my binoculars to view them standing there in the reeds, I am usually able to easily spot their white head cap with the distinguishable black stripe below it. This stripe starts above the eye near their long sharp yellow bill and runs to the back of their neck ending in short pointed plumes. Juveniles lack this white head cap and crest plumes and are greyer over-all than the adults. During the mating season two of these extended black neck feathers become long and thread like.

Although I was able to see from higher ground, the general area in the woods where the herons were landing in the trees some distance away, I spent almost an hour on my first visit  searching through the bush to find the exact area where the colony of nests was hidden in the upper limbs of a tall grove of cottonwoods. (See photos below.)  It was interesting to note that although herons can sometimes be a noisy lot with loud squawking, not a sound could be heard as I approached the heronry.

It was not until I almost stumbled upon some huge nests which had fallen to the ground that I realized I was in the right spot. (See photos below). Due to the heaviness of the nests they are sometimes blown to the ground by strong winter winds. Male herons chose a new mate each year, and help their mate to either rebuild their platform-like nests from scratch or refurbish old ones with twigs and branches. As can be seen in my photo it is common to see many nests in the same tree. Three to seven bluish-green eggs are laid in each nest from late March to mid-April with both parents doing the incubating. Eggs hatch (See photo of egg shell below) in 4 weeks then both parents care for the chicks. Chicks are able to fly after 56 - 60 days leaving the nesting area on average from mid July to early August  to disperse to other areas where they can find fish. The blue herons life-span averages 17 years.

The Herons range is northern south America, Central America and North America all the way from Mexico to Canada. Herons migrate south in winter from areas where the waters freeze, as in this south-eastern portion of British Columbia, Canada.

Food for thought:  It was only recently in February of 2007, long after my first visit to the heronry in May 2005, and further visits to the area in late summer of 2006, that I read that Herons can be so dangerous when fledglings are in the nest, that they have been known to dive bomb humans and impale them with their wide pointed dagger like bills. Subsequent to my one visit in May the others were fortunately made at a safer time in late August. I unknowingly thought I was safe in the woods because I had a large dog with me, but next time I am in the area I might also wear a hard hat or bicycle helmet. 

 

 FALLEN NESTS ON THE  FOREST FLOOR.
 THE BRIGHT SPOTS ARE SUNLIGHT COMING THROUGH THE TREES ABOVE

May 31, 2005



....AND ANOTHER NEST AND THE REMAINS OF AN EGG

 


 A BLUE HERON EGG 

 


ANOTHER FALLEN NEST CLOSE UP
August 31, 2006

 

 

 THE NESTS ARE STACKED IN TREES 
Can you spot the Heron on the lower center nest? 

 


 ANOTHER HERON WATCHES

 

 

 TWENTY FIVE VISIBLE HERON NESTS IN THIS PHOTO 
This photo, which was taken shooting into the sun, shows how close the many nests are to each other.
These big nests look smaller here because I am shooting from a distance below.



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      Digital Photos by Elaine Sell Prefontaine     
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THE GREAT BLUE HERON

BIRD TOTEM

Cycle of Power:             Spring

Key:                             Independence, Uniqueness, Dignity, Self Determination and Self Reliance

Persons having the Great Blue Heron totem are strong willed, dignified and uniquely independent. They stand on their own two feet and know what is best for themselves. Heron people are very observant and instinctive and take successful advantage of opportunities others might not  notice.

Heron people are not followers. They "dance to their own drummer" and do not feel the need to fit in or "keep up with the Joneses". Although they enjoy socializing they are perfectly content to be on their own. They are versatile and adaptable and enjoy exploring new and different avenues in life and learning new skills. 

People with the Great Blue Heron as their totem are of strong character and take full control and responsibility for their actions.

 

THE GREAT BLUE HERONS TAKE FLIGHT
Engraving , Relief Sculpture and Oil on Purcell Mountain Slate Stone
Size: 10" High,  9" Wide,  1" thick, Weight: 1- pounds
Artist: Elaine Sell Prefontaine 

 

 

 

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