Sunday, June 19, 2011

Green Heron: Late April Migration to Northern Illinois

A great reflection of a Green Heron waiting patiently for a meal to happen by,
Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 5/8/2011.
Green Herons are another arrival in late April to northern Illinois. What I like about these herons is I'll never know where I might see one. Most often they are at the water's edge (Above), but I have also seen them perched high in trees (Below), at times not even near any water, usually in a quiet out of the way place, but sometimes near crowds, as is the case on June 5, this year.
A Green Heron resting in a tree, Rock Cut State Park; 4/29/2011.
Earlier this month while hiking at Rock Cut State Park (one of my favorite places to bird in the Rockford area), I was walking through a picnic area which was quite busy, when a Green Heron alit on a log at the edge of Lake Pierce in front of a picnic table crowded with people. I was surprised that it would land near so many people. It then put on a display of craning its neck to twice the height of its own body, which I have never seen before - and I have seen plenty of Green Herons (even one eating a frog in one of my posts a year ago - ). Green Herons are inevitably described as a short stocky type of water bird, but when it stretches its neck out, "Short and stocky" aren't the words I would use to descibe it (see Below).

A Green Heron in a busy picnic area of Rock Cut State Park, IL ...

.. it raised its crest (which I didn't know it had ) ...

... then it stretched its neck straight up in the air as if to show off its streaks; 6/5/2011.

Now I've heard about and seen photographs of Green Herons stretching its neck a bit to reach out and catch a fish, but this Heron (Above) just started stretching its neck straight up in the air - it wasn't reaching for anything ... just stretching. A little stretching , I guess, will never hurt anyone. Another neck-stretching pic below...

"How tall can I get?"

No comments: