Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Saturday Fun

Great Blue Heron soaring upwards, like the mythical Phoenix - babsjeheron  © Babsje (

Great Blue Heron soaring upwards, like the mythical Phoenix – babsjeheron

Everyone who has ever “caught” a yawn from their cat or dog, please raise your hand.

© Babsje (

Great Blue Heron yawning – babsjeheron

The yearling Great Blue Heron had been quietly perched on the top branch of the fallen willow at the end of the cove.

He pivoted round, and shifting his weight to his left leg, extended his right wing out and down. At the same time, he stretched his right leg out and down behind, in a big Heron stretch.

When he was done stretching, he yawned – just like a human would stretch and then yawn.

He opened his bill, angled his head skyward, extended his neck upwards, wiggled his head slightly from side to side and yawned.

His mouth opened wide, and wider, and then widest, before he closed it, shook his head again, and then tucked his head back down and lowered his neck.

I had never seen a Heron yawning, nor any other bird for that matter, and it was amazing and amusing to watch.

And then I caught his yawn.

© Babsje (

Great Blue Heron yawning from a perch atop a fallen willow – babsjeheron

I wrote the above on the day I caught my first Heron yawn back in 2010. Since that day, I’ve observed several other Great Blue Herons yawning, and almost always catch their yawns.

© Babsje (

Great Blue Heron yawning – babsjeheron

Not only do I catch their yawns real-time while observing the Herons in the field, I’ve also been known to yawn while looking at the photos of yawning Herons.

Do any of you find an urge to yawn while looking at photos of a yawn progress? If you do, please post a comment. I’d love to hear about your experiences. Do you catch yawns from your cats or dogs? Does anyone else looking at the yawning Herons here feel a yawn coming on?

Even preparing the photos in this post today has me yawning.

Although one could attribute today’s yawns to the fast-approaching midnight hour, I prefer to chalk them up to empathy for the Herons.

That’s my story theory and I’m sticking to it.

File this under Fun With Herons.


Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya all encourage the community of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Amy is “Celebrating.” The tag line for Ann-Christine’s inspiring blog is a line from poet William Blake: “To see a world in a grain of sand…” It is a celebration of the ordinary in our worlds. What can be more ordinary that a simple yawn? Wile I love spontaneous joy and adventure, I also love the freedom of routine ordinary day-to-day living. Dare I say normal life? I’m not so sure about the ‘new normal.’ Is anyone?


Thanks to Cee for her Cee’s CMMC. These photos of yawning Herons are as close up as I could get.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: No Better Way to Tour Porto Sidecar . The title is the requisite six words long.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 177: Celebrating .
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 177: Celebrating .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 177: Celebrating .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 177: Celebrating.


Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District


The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Learn more!


My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

Please watch this space for news of my upcoming Winter 2022 gallery show for the month of January at TCAN.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
Natick Town Hall
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
Audubon Sanctuary

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.


Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick

Posted on December 11, 2021, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, Birds, Heron, Humor, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Wildlife Photography, Wordless Wednesday and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 51 Comments.

  1. Maybe these yawns are to practice swallowing big fishes!

  2. Amazing captures! It takes a lot of patience to get theses images.

    • Hi Amy. Many thanks! I’m glad you like these Herons. It was intriguing at first before I realized the Heron was yawning. I couldn’t imagine what he was up to. So you’re right – patience pays off. Best, Babsje

  3. Yawns are contagious except for sociopaths.
    I can’t remember seeing a Baldie yawning before?
    You always capture such unique shots of a world most never see Babsje!

  4. I’ve not seen a Great Blue Heron yawn, but I have seen Yellow-crowned Night Herons get up to it. I wasn’t tempted to yawn myself, looking at these photos, but I have noticed that yawns seem to be contagious among people.

    • I’m glad you saw a Yellow-crowned Night Heron doing it! They’re delightful birds. I bet Green Herons yawn, too. Many thanks for your kind comment about that. Best, Babsje

  5. LOL Babsje. I caught the yawn from your heron!! You could double link this one to today’s challenge too!!

    • Haha that’s funny Tina! It means you have a great sense of empathy! Which doesn’t surprise me in the least what with your own affinity for birds. I’ll have to have a look at today’s challenge – I haven’t seen it yet. Thanks! Best, Babsje

  6. I didn’t know birds yawned. I do sometimes yawn when my pets do. I give that first heron a 10 for its perfect toe point.

    • Great comment about giving him a 10 for the toe point. It brought a big smile. I used to catch yawns from household dogs and cats over the years, but catching from a Heron was a big surprise. Glad you like the Herons. Best, Babsje

  7. I always enjoy your close ups of the herons 😀 😀

  8. All wonderful, as usual but that first!

  9. This was a fun post Babsje. I didn’t catch the yawn, but then I was eating an ice cream pop. Great photos!

  10. You are teaching me to be more patient when I’m photographing birds. What lens do you use?

    • Hi Anne. Thanks for asking. I use a Canon 55-200mm telephoto. Because I shoot 90% of the time from a small boat on the water and there’s a risk of rolling over or getting swamped by other boat traffic, I do not take a big fancy heavy expensive lens out on the water. I’ve been swamped without warning a couple of times and my gear got thoroughly drenched. That old trick of immersing it in a tub of rice grains for a week saved the day. Good luck!

  11. So funny! And great photos. I never knew that birds yawned. Our cat definitely does. As for yawns inspiring yawns, that happens for me with people I see doing it, not so much from photos. But you talking about yawns and yawning made feel one coming on. 🙂

    • Yawning is so contagious to me that a yawn came over me just reading this comment of yours about yawning! Cat’s yawns are so cute and they look so self-satisfied when they’re done. I’m glad you liked the yawning Herons. Thanks for your yawn-inducing comment! Best, Babsje

  12. Yep, yawns are contagious! My budgies used to yawn but I have yet to catch a Zebra Finch yawning. Or maybe they do but they can’t keep from commenting on it so it goes unnoticed. I’ll have to watch more closely now. Great photographs, as always – if anyone would capture a Great Blue yawning, it would be you!

    • Many thanks, Lisa, I like the way you said that if anyone would capture a Great Blue’s yawn it would be me 😊. I bet your Zebra Finch must surely yawn occasionally? Also I really love your Downey Woodpecker photos today! Best, Babsje

  13. Wow! Herons yawn! I had no idea. And yes, yawns are contagious. 😀

    • Hi Patti. Thanks! Glad the yawning Herons brought a smile. And yawns are more contagious than I had ever realized. They’re a pretty amusing phenomenon. Wishing you safe travels home from Vancouver. Best, Babsje

  14. 🙂 Fun with herons indeed! I think only humans have transmitted the urge to yawn to me but I could be wrong! And I’ve never been aware of a heron yawning but I have seen those stretches…next time I’ll look for a yawn, too.

    • Thanks for your kind comment. I watched those stretches for years before I paid attention to what sometimes came next – the yawning. I hope you’re pleasantly surprised one day. Best, Babsje

  15. A big yawn … 🙂

    Watch your inbox, sent you an email.

  16. I raise my hand 🙂 A lovely post.

  17. This is ADORABLE! Thank you for sharing this. Yes, looking at the yawning Herons makes me want to yawn too! 🙂

  18. Congratulations! I featured this post on CMMC this week.
    Hope you’ve had a terrific so far.

  19. Knap gespot en op juiste moment afgedrukt

  20. Bedankt.
    Wens je een fantastisch 2022

  1. Pingback: CMMC December Color Your Favorite Color – Cee's Photo Challenges

  2. Pingback: Beautiful Herons and Friends: There are No Wrong Answers | Babsje Heron

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