The Stillness of Night Herons

//The Stillness of Night Herons

The Stillness of Night Herons

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Heron Photos ©ingrid

You could argue that these birds are — well — sitting herons. They’re easy to photograph, as are many herons and egrets, owing to their stoic poses and their ability to stalk breakfast without moving a feather. Even the most moody auto focus can lock on a night heron.

They’re magnificent birds, with eyes that pop right out of otherwise monochromatic photos. The juveniles are deceivingly plain in plumage, only texturally complex when you examine the gradations in your photographs. But this is true of most birds and wildlife — that the art of their coats and feathers is hidden in the subtlety of their camouflage.

The Black-crowned Night Herons are among my favorites, resembling as they do, hunched-over wizards — in repose or on the prowl. The third photograph shows a heron, seemingly attuned to my presence with the lens. In actuality, he was sussing out a raptor overhead who’d flushed a flock of pigeons into aerobatic swirls.

All of thse shots were taken with a 70-300mm four-thirds Zuiko lens which means an effective reach of 600mm. I do my best with all birds, to keep my distance and let them go about their business without disturbing them.* Of course, anyone with a camera and a tripod is bound to arouse suspicion from the feathered ones. Eventually, if you stay unobtrusive long enough, they may get used to your presence as part of the landscape.

* See Ethics in Nature and Wildlife Photography

By | 2008-12-02T02:26:54+00:00 December 2nd, 2008|Birds, Blog|Comments Off on The Stillness of Night Herons