Joyful Gorgeous Great Blue Heron

If you smile at me I will understand,
‘Cause that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language.

David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Paul Kantner
Wooden Ships
Crosby, Stills & Nash

© Babsje (

If birds can feel joy, this smiling great blue heron certainly must be joyful in this moment.

Do animals feel emotions?

This week, Michelle W and WordPress have asked us for photos that speak to “joy.” As humans, we can easily identify joy when we see it on the face of another person. But what about animals? Can they feel joy and other emotions?

A quick Internet search will reveal a lot of anecdata about emotions in animals and birds, and many pet owners will attest to their own dog’s or cat’s or horse’s capacity to “feel.”

I’m not aware of “scientific studies” that prove the emotional capacity of birds and animals, but there are fascinating accounts of wild creatures “grieving” dead mates – elephants and even herons have been observed staying with their dead.

What do you think – have you seen a pet or a wild creature show “joy?” I’d love to read your comments about animals showing emotions.


Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy prompt.


Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

© 2013 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron

Posted on December 31, 2013, in ardea herodias, Art, Bird photography, Great Blue Heron, Heron, Nature Photography, Photography, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wild Bird Wednesday, Wildlife Photography and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Your song selection certainly takes me back in time…. sweet!

  2. what a picture (and what a nice camera you have). I LOVE herons – but have never seen any of them catch their food before – well that is until now – this picture left some splashes of water on my desk – and what cool take on the joy theme!

    PS – and we have two labs – and our black one is too funny with his emotions – not just joy – but his nickname is whiny-baby! ha ha – while the other one is joe-smooth all the time –

    • Many thanks for your kind words, what a clever comment, sorry about the water splashes! Sounds like your labs have both ends of the emotional spectrum covered. I can imagine the tone and timbre of whiny-baby’s poor-me howling!

  3. I’m sure many animals can feel emotions. Like monieys, dogs (i’m a dogowner) cats, elephants and so on. I love the pic by the way. A great moment!

  4. This certainly is a very joyous pic, Babsje, but only for the Heron, not the fish. 😀
    My mom’s little dog Fluffy, used to smile a lot. 🙂

  5. this is a beautiful click. happy new year

  1. Pingback: Beautiful Great Blue Herons Simply Unretouched | Babsje Heron

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