Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bird of the Day: Great Blue Heron at Burro Canyon in Arizona

I was on the road this weekend in the Lower Sonoran Desert northwest of Phoenix, Arizona, and we made a short stop at Burro Creek Campground just off the highway about 60 miles north of Wickenburg. The canyon containing Burro Creek has steep walls of volcanic basalt and conglomerate and a more or less permanent year-round stream, though it was barely flowing when we stopped in.

It was the middle of the day so we didn't expect to see much in the way of birds, with only a few photos of a Say's Phoebe to show for our trouble (it's like fishing, of course, the serenity and peace being the real point of our exploration whether we see birds or not).
Then I saw a huge bird flying down the canyon, and then it turned and started flying back towards us. I was able to get a few slightly grainy shots of the beautiful bird in flight, and then I could see where it landed in the distance. It was a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias).
Where's Waldo the Blue Heron?
Our previous shot of a Great Blue Heron was at pretty close range at the refuge near our home. This individual was a bit more wary of us, never coming close. However far, it's an amazing bird to see.

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