Friday, March 24, 2017

Great Blue Heron on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon

It's a rainy day outside, so no walks along the river today, and it's been a few weeks since a birding trip, so I didn't have a lot of new material. I was going over some older pictures when I found a few bird shots taken during the greatest adventure of my life, a 17 day rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. It was in August of 2013. I wasn't exactly birding at the time, but I was keen to observe any living things along the river as we floated along. On the third day out we passed a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) lurking in the grasses and sand along the riverbank.
The Herons are such stately creatures, and it seemed extra special to see one in such a dramatic setting. We were a mile or two downstream from Vasey's Paradise, a spot where small waterfalls burst out of the canyon walls. We were in the Redwall Limestone, a layer that is riddled with caverns and fissures. When exposed along the river, the groundwater flowed freely at the surface

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