Canadian photographer R. John Knight shares the stories behind some of his nature and wildlife images

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Great Blue Herons, Chilcotin Region, British Columbia

Early in the morning when the sun's rays weakly stretch down through the mist to the river from the horizon, or towards the end of the day, as the sun begins to set, you might be lucky to see the occasional Great Blue Heron quietly fishing, or resting, in quiet bays and backwaters along rivers in the Chilcotin Region of British Columbia.

Great Blue Heron resting at river's edge
Note the airborne pollen and insects in the images.

Standing on rock and stretching neck for better view
Being such a large bird, Herons have to work hard to get off the ground, consuming a lot of energy.  'Graceful' is not the word that comes to mind when you see one taking off.  Better words might be 'amazing' or 'wow'!  In the end, they do what they have to do to get airborne.

Running up the engines just before take-off
Transition to flight looks awkward, and somewhat gargoyle-like
Unusual wing position during transition to flight
Finally, enough forward speed and height is achieved for graceful flight!
Some general information about the Great Blue Heron:

     Proper Name:  Ardea herodias
     Diet:  carnivore; fish, insects, frogs, toads, moles and small animals
     Wing Span:  5.5 to 6.6 ft (1.7 to 2 m)
     Body Size: 3.2 to 4.5 ft (1 to 1.4 m)
     Height: ~1+ m
     Weight:  4.6 to 7.3 lbs (2.1 to 2.5 kg)
     Habitat:  salt or fresh water; costlines, in marshes, or near ponds or
          streams; need islands and woody swamps for nests; typically hunt
          alone, but next in colonies
     Range:  across southern Canada, from coast to coast, down to the Gulf
          of Mexico

A quiet moment of contemplation


  1. You have an amazing ability to capture the moments John! Lovely work!

  2. Thanks Marilyn. It's fun being able to share these images with you.