The Great Blue Herons

Something stalks the neighborhood in my mountains. Slowly and silently it creeps along the banks of the rivers and streams. It sharp eyes detect the slightest movement just below the water’s surface. It strikes like lightning and it’s prey has little chance of escaping the razor sharp beak.

The Great Blue Herons are one of my favorite birds. I have never seen a native species that reminded me more of a dinosaur. The one pictured here was close to three feet tall. The long serpentine neck, wide wingspan and habit of trailing it’s lags as it flies really makes one think that they’ve crossed into the distant past. This one also seems to have a sense of humor. It likes to lurk around just below the bridges in my neighborhood and spring up out of creek when you least expect it. If I didn’t know better I’d swear it laughs as it flies away. I haven’t been able to spot the nest yet but I do occasionally hear it’s grunting calls coming from the thick bush. They’re truly one of the more amazing sights in my wild wonderful West Virginia and hope you get to see one if you’re ever traveling close to the water. And, if you happen to hear a snicker it’s probably the one that likes to startle me.

Great Blue Heron On The Gauley River.

Today being St Patrick’s Day I just had to post something green. The Great Blue herons are often seen quietly stalking the shallow waters looking for a fish to nab. You don’t really know excitement until you’re crossing a footbridge and a huge dinosaur sized bird with a six foot wingspan nearly knocks you into the water. However, when not buzzing about the heads of unsuspecting pedestrians they are quiet and graceful. They always bring me sense of peace and I love just sit and watch them wade the shore. They were a bit of a rare sight in the 70s and still considered endangered. We’ve got one that walks our property in the summer. I hear it call more than I see it. But just knowing it’s around somewhere gives me sense of peace.