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Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron
Photo Information
Copyright: Bill Webb (DigitalZen) Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 3 W: 13 N: 21] (115)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-05-22
Categories: Birds
Camera: Konica Minolta Dimage Z3, UV
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/25 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-05-28 8:55
Viewed: 3121
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea, is the most numerous heron of the Florida marshes. This bird is partway into its adult moult, after having spent its first three months as a slightly off-white juvenile. Young Little Blue Herons are often mistaken for Snowy Egrets, (Egretta thula), but they lack the yellow feet of the Snowy, and are easily differentiated by their steel-grey beak tipped with black and their dark greenish legs and feet, which are also the primary identification markers for adults.

This photo clearly shows the forward placement of the bird's eyes, adapted for precise binocular vision to enable it to discern and attack small prey by striking with its beak. Since, generally speaking, all of a heron's enemies are at ground level, it does not require the ability to look for prey while at the same time keeping an eye on what is happening above it. Smaller birds generally have their eyes placed farther back and facing the sides, to facilitate a 360 degree scan.

Although many raptors are large enough to take a heron, they would risk severe, possibly fatal damage from the heron's beak, which is a formidable weapon as well as an efficient harpoon. Thus herons are generally left alone by other predators, with the occasional exception of a bobcat or alligator.

Copyright (c) 2005, William E. Webb

1/25 @ f4.5, ISO 400, 65.5 mm. Cropped and reduced in FastStone Image Viewer.

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To Alan_Kolnik: CritiquesDigitalZen 2 06-05 01:13
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Nice & sharp capture, wonderful background! A pleasing image.

A very overlooked image, IMO - great colors, though perhaps a little blown in the whites. I also appreciate your detailed knowledge of the birds you post and comment on (though poeple might appreciate a critique as opposed to a comment from time to time!).

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