The Travels of Tug 44


Great Blue Heron, Part 2






Sep 2016, a gray gloomy day, it was just about to start drizzling, when this Great Blue Heron landed in a dead tree just above my head and started preening his feathers. I was shooting directly against the bright white sky, so the bird appeared mostly as a dark silhouette, so I lightened the photos, which also kills the colors. But here they are anyway. In this shot, he's flapping a bit but did not lift off. Or maybe he was just showing off his beautiful feathers!   high-res



And then the Heron began his stretching exercises. Here he stretches his right wing and right leg.   high-res



... and then his left wing and left leg.   high-res



All those feathers can be a bit itchy, so here he lifts his huge claw to scratch his chin. As he does this, the hair on his head lifts up. Actually that's some fluffy feathers. Sure looks like that scratch felt great! Look at his eye, half closed.   high-res



After some more stretching and flapping, he goes for another chin scratch, wow that feels great, huh?   high-res



With that long neck, he can reach everywhere but it sure does take some strange twisting and turning. They pass each feather thru that beak for cleaning and smoothing. During the entire time, the Great Blue Heron was making low grumbling raspy ducky noises.   high-res



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