Walk Softly and Carry a Big Lens – Daily Prompt: Secret of Success

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 
The Little Prince

Great blue heron fledglings in nest in mirror image.

Great blue heron fledglings in nest in mirror image, July 2013.

This is the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when the season’s great blue herons chicks have finished fledging, and they can be found plying the shores in some areas more abundantly now than at any other time of year.

It’s an exciting time of year for birdwatchers and nature photographers, alike, as the young herons are less wary than adults, and so more accessible.

In the past week, dozens of new photos of great blue herons and fledglings have been uploaded to the Internet. Some are spectacular photos, yet some of those spectacular shots are scenes where the birds were being endangered unwittingly by the photographers.

This is a critical time of year for the fledglings: between now and autumn migration, they must master all of their survival skills.

The statistics are sobering. As mentioned on the Heron Conservation org’s website:

  • Mortality rates are high in juveniles. In the first year they are 69-71%, decreasing thereafter and with regional differences.
  • Highest postfledging death rates are from August to December, probably related to the difficulty of learning to feed.

I have posted in the past about human encroachment into herons’ space (If The Heron Can Read This, You’re Too Close) and about herons that have become comfortable with (some) humans’ present (Here’s Looking at You, Kid). My blog contains a widget with useful guidance for nature photographers and birders including these and more:

Michelle W requested that we post to answer this specific question, “What would it take for you to consider yourself a “successful blogger”?”

I would consider my blogging successful if I’m able to raise photogrqphers’ consciousness about safe ways to capture those magnificent herons without endangering them.

I’d like to see more people clicking the links to resources for protcting birds in the right-hand column on my blog.

I’d like to see more photographers using appropriately long lenses.

I’d like to see more people shooting from hides or blinds.

I could go on and on, don’t get me started. Oops, too late!


Thanks to Michelle W. and WordPress for the Daily Prompt nudge.


(This took place July, 2013)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Posted on August 25, 2013, in ardea herodias, Birds, daily prompt, Fledgling heron, Great Blue Heron, Nature, Photography, Photography challenge, postaday, Weekly Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

    • Thanks, Cindy! Those two fledglings did a lot of preening together in symmetrical mirror image positions. It was uncanny how closely their postures echoed each other.

  1. A good read and perfect timing. I commend you for your efforts toward conservation of natural resources and ethical behavior on the part of nature photographers.Great post!.

    • Hi Nick – Thanks for your kind comment. I think most photographers mean well, but so many don’t recognize a fledgling from a juvenile from an adult heron. The fledglings are so very vulnerable!

  2. It is interesting to see such a comprehensive blog, based around a single bird. Unique in my experience so far. It is pleasing to read such good words along with the photographs too. Thanks for following my blog, and congratulations on your own. regards from England. Pete.

    • You’re welcome for the follow, Pete, and many thanks for your thoughtful and generous coment here! As you have surmised, I love the herons and am enjoying sharing them via this blog.

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