Our Guest Heron Du Jour: It’s Easy Being Green (Green Heron, That Is)

The Green Heron skulked about on the shoreline, seeking out small frogs for dinner, oblivious to the fox sniffing around the dock not fifteen feet away. The heron’s cap feathers were fully erect as though it was alarmed, but it kept on rooting in the muck as though a nearby fox was an everyday happening.

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

Great Blue Heron and Green Heron posing.

I was mesmerized the first time I saw a Green Heron – by the heron, but also by the fox. I had seen neither of them before in the cove, and I didn’t know which to photograph, and so I alternated between them.

The fox seemed unaware of the green heron, and paid no heed to the mallard ducks paddling off the end of the dock. He was on the scent of something on land, not water.

The green heron poked and prodded in the muck at water’s edge, pulling out small frogs. Apart from erecting his cap feathers to make himself appear larger, less vulnerable to predators, he seemed oblivious to the fox not fifteen feet away and kept on poking the muck as though a nearby fox was normal.

There’s little that is green about it, and with erect cap feathers channelling Don King’s hair, the green heron looked like the Rodney Dangerfield of herons. I found it an amusing little bird, and watched intently, wondering exactly why it was called “green” and what made it a heron?

My question was answered in part when the preening green heron assumed the pose shown in the photo at top here. Brings to mind an odd sort of “separated at birth” comparison.


Thanks once again to Stewart Moncton for the Wild Bird Wednesday prompt.

Thanks also to Sue for the Word a Week Challenge: Pose.

Thanks to Ailsa for the Weekly Travel Theme: Short. (The Green Heron is so short, it’s hard to imagine it having much in common with the Great Blue Herons.)

Thanks to the kind folks at NaBloPoMo for the National Blog Posting Month challenge this November.

And thanks also to Michelle for the Weekly Pet Challenge Roundup nudge.


A selection of my heron and flower photos are now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

Green Heron, Great Blue Heron

Posted on November 19, 2013, in A Word A Week Photo Challenge, ardea herodias, Birds, daily prompt, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Michelle's Weekly Pet Challenge, NaBloPoMo, Nature Photography, postaday, Weekly Travel Themes, Wild Bird Wednesday, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. That pose that green heron’s make is extraordinary – it looks so uncomfortable! RH

    • I agree it IS extraordinary. In the great blue heron it looks more graceful, less of a strain, but the green heron gets credit for effort. Many thanks for your comment!

  2. Great captures! The Green heron is one of my favorites.

  3. Great photos of both herons. So how did it end? did the fox and heron both keep ignoring each other??

    • Thanks for your kind comment! Yes, they continued to ignore each other. The fox eventually wandered off away from the water into the underbrush, and I haven’t seen him since. The green heron spent the rest of that afternoon exploring both the north and south shores of the cove. Pretty interesting encounter all things considered.

  4. Amazing pictures Babsje. Thanks for the entry 🙂

  5. Both herons are beautiful birds.

  6. Your birds photos are nice.
    Greetings from Holland

  7. What an amazing photo of the Green Heron with a fish. I put up three films about Green Herons last summer. I was thrilled with some of the footage I got, but none of it approached the clarity of that shot. I pointed out in the narration of one film that any Green Heron ever born could put a karate master to shame. Even when he was on one leg, his body oozed smoothly forward and he had a fish before I saw him strike.

  8. I agree that this heron is badly named. Red-bellied Woodpeckers are like that; Red-naped Woodpeckers would be a more accurate name. Who gave somebody permission to give that heron such a misleading name? Yes, I’ve seen the green, but only in perfect lighting and close up.

  9. Oops. I just realized that the marvelous photo is of a Great Blue rather than a Green Heron.

  1. Pingback: Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge; Round up and start of new week. | Hope* the happy hugger

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