Great Blue Heron Gets Photobombed

© Babsje (

Great blue heron photobombed by a duck.

Wild creatures that share the same ecosystem on a regular basis develop ways to keep the peaceable kingdom peaceable, and the community of birds and animals can have some fascinating relationships.

I’ve blogged about a bluejay chasing off a predatory red tailed hawk that ventured too close to a herons’ nest, riding on the shoulder of the hawk. Similarly, a grackle rode the neck of a hawk, pecking at the hawk’s head as it fled the nesting island. An interloping Northern harrier hawk caused a hair-raising reaction from a heron as it dive-bombed the cove, but no blood was shed. Cormorants have developed a symbiotic relationship, guarding the great blue heron nestlings. An osprey regularly perches in a tree close to the herons and captures fish that get away from the heron.

In the cove, kingfishers have ruined many a possible photo op: when they see my kayak round the corner, they take off towards the heron, chattering in that squeaky, loose-fan-belt voice of theirs, alerting the heron of my approach before I have a chance to slip into the natural-cover blind.

And the ducks seem to have the most amiable relationship with the great blue herons of all. They share the shoreline peacefully, one heron and duck in particular: the duck literally followed the heron everywhere as the heron foraged.

And as you see in the next photo sequence, the duck wanted in on the photography action. What a ham!

© Babsje (

Is that a smirk I see on the duck’s face in frames 4 & 5? Why yes, I believe it is a smirk.

File this one under silly wildlife!


Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Community prompt. She asked for photos that speak to the topic of “community.” The community of wild creatures in an ecosystem is fascinating and complex, and sometimes funny things happen.

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


A selection of my heron and flower photos is 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.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

(These photos were taken September 7, 2009.)

© 2013 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron, Duck, Photobomb

Posted on December 16, 2013, in ardea herodias, Art, Bird photography, Great Blue Heron, Humor, Kayaking, Nature Photography, Photo Essay, Photobomb, Photography, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. What a show stealer 🙂

  2. I had ducks (Mallards) for a long time. They wandered freely and took to the pond, well like ducks. They often exhitibed that wing stretch/flap thing as if to just make sure verything was in order as it should be, then they would get back to regular duck stuff. It’s pretty cool you caught one covering up your target with that move, while you were observing it.

    Alas my ducks are all gone, everything that walks, crawls, or flies apparently likes duck. They did allright for several years but the hawks eventually got them all. One of the males I had named Underfoot, as he was always walking beside me everywhere I went. He was the only one that would let me pick him up. I miss that stupid duck…

    • I’m so sorry to read about Underduck and your other duck friends. Ducks are great, very smart. When I lived in Florida there was a duck who was very tame. She lived with her duck family in one of those Florida creeks near an apartment complex. People called her Lady Duck and she would wander into apartments fearlessly if the door or sliders were left open. She was endearing and I was fond of her. So I understand your connection to your ducks. Thanks for visiting and commenting again!

  3. Some ducks have no class. 🙂

  4. Great shots! Funny duck, she wanted some photos too!

  5. I like it , very funny.
    All the best Gordon.

  6. That’s a very funny sequence of photos. Birds are amusing!

  7. Hi. thanks for the laugh. Great.

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Community | Erin O'Leary Photography

  2. Pingback: Beautiful Great Blue Herons – And There I Was Without a Camera (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 15) | Babsje Heron

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