Romancing the Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Herons pair bonding - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Herons pair bonding – babsjeheron

During a break in nest building, the Great Blue Heron pair enhanced their bond with courtship moves so intimate I imagined hearing the soft refrains of that old chestnut “I only have eyes for you, dear.”

“Our love must be some kind of kind of blind love.
I can’t see anyone but you.


Are the stars out tonight?
I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright.
I only have eyes for you, dear…”

A. Dubin, H. Warren
I Only Have Eyes for You

“I Only Have Eyes for You” is a gem of a tune. This chestnut has been performed by a who’s who of musicians, including The Flamingos, Sinatra & Count Basie, Rod Stewart, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Mathis, Carly Simon, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and more…

But the best ever version in my opinion is this very sweet Art Garfunkle cover. Trust me on that.

This next trio of frames taken during a break in nest building that day shows the obvious connection between the mated pair of Great Blue Herons.

The Herons engage each other during a break in nest building - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

The Herons engage each other during a break in nest building – babsjeheron

Nest building had been completed four weeks earlier and the Great Blue Heron eggs were due to hatch any moment. The suspense was mounting daily – would this be the day? And then one day, the female swooped back to the nest bearing a small stick. How sweet, I thought to myself – a token of her affection for her mate, who was hunkered down on the eggs.

Four weeks after mating, a Great Blue Heron returns to the nest and presents a stick to the mate, hunkered down atop the eggs about to hatch - babsjeheron   © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Four weeks after mating, a Great Blue Heron returns to the nest and presents a stick to the mate, hunkered down atop the eggs about to hatch – babsjeheron

It was a touching, tender moment to behold. They only had eyes for each other while courting, but even once they got down to the business of incubating the eggs, their pair bonding efforts persisted, with lavish greeting displays when one returned to the nest, occasional preening (allopreening) of each other, and more. I had watched their courtship and nest building four weeks earlier, but there was something special about seeing her bring that twig back to the male in the nest. I had never before seen them take little gifts like this small stick back to the nest. How sweet.

I am still smitten by their deep bonding, their dedication to each other and their nest.

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Great Blue Herons & me!

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Once again, the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the water’s surface is gracing gallery walls.

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Reflection © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Sign Reflected; TCAN Stained glass art by Carol Krentzman, framed by Jay Ball

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio

My Great Blue Heron photographs are once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Since 2001, the Center for Arts Natick has been housed in the circa 1875 historic Central Fire House, where the Summer Street Gallery provides an opportunity for accomplished visual artists in the region to have their work prominently displayed for TCAN’s diverse and loyal audience.

The Center for Arts Natick believes the arts are essential to a complete human experience and to the creation of a vibrant, healthy community. TCAN serves the Boston MetroWest region by increasing opportunities to experience, participate in, and learn about the arts. To this end, TCAN strives to present arts programs of the highest standard that are available to everyone. TCAN dedicates its resources to providing community access to diverse arts programs, reducing barriers to attendance, and building appreciation through arts education.

If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the Great Blue Herons. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.

The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there one day.

I’d like that.

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Cee Neuner, Debhie Smyth, Becky B, and the community of Lens Artists encourage the entire international network of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Square Odds and Thursday Trios.
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Thanks to Becky for her The Square Odds challenge. Yes, it’s hip to be square!
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Thanks to Becky also for her Square Odds Gallery which showcases some delightful images from many interesting photographers.

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Thanks to Debbie for her One Word Sunday: Even.
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Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District logo

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.

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

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

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick – Current one-woman photography show through February 2022
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Natick Town Hall – Current group exhibit thru June 2022
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Five Crows Gallery in Natick – Represented since 2013
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Audubon Sanctuary
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Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2022 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Posted on February 14, 2022, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, Art, Birds, Inspiration, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 70 Comments.

  1. Wonderful to see this through your eyes – and a great post for Valentines Day

  2. Awww… happy Valentines to the Great Blues and the beautiful photographer! 😘🤗❤

  3. a lovely post for Valentines – my only query is which photo is square?!

    • Hi Becky. Many thanks for your kind comment about the lovey-dovey Herons. To answer your question, the top image is supposed to be a square. That said, I have 2 different versions of that same photo in my WordPress media files and it is possible that I may have clicked on the wrong one in my haste at 3am here! My eyesight isn’t very good – I have had 4 eye surgeries in the past 16 months. I will double-check when I’m back at a computer and not on my phone. Best, Babsje

      • No worries, check whenever you have a moment. It could always be me!!

        but oh my about all the eye surgery, that’s so much to go through. Do hope things have improved after it all

        • Thanks for your kind wishes, Becky. The eye thing? I lost vision in my left eye – twice. Retina surgery has has good results, but for a long time I wasn’t able to use any photo software at all, I could not see the tiny tools. I missed all of 2021 for taking any photos at all. Looking forward to a new & improved 2022!

          • oh my. So happy for you that 2022 is already starting better eye wise, hope it continues to do so for you.

            • Thanks so much! And I agree. And spring cannot come a moment too soon!

            • Hi Becky – this was a real nail biter, but I have sorted out the square. It took a couple of hours – because I had forgotten the little trick to swap in an alternate image using the old “classic editor” and so I now have 3 versions of that image, lol. I never switched to the new & improved Block Editor and in a forgetful moment had forgotten so I entirely retooled the image. (To change images now in classic editor a person must be logged in as the account admin, which is unnecessarily silly.) Anyway, now I really am hip and square. Thanks for your patience. Best, Babsje

  4. I feel a bit like a voyeur but this is lovely, especially on Valentine’s Day.

    • Thanks very much for saying that. Once, I had posted that I would never photograph nesting Herons for “ethical” reasons, but then changed my mind when I could observe that pair without them noticing me. Btw, if you enjoy birds, you might like the Owl videos from Robert E Fuller. His Barn Owls and Tawny Owls videos are an amazing glimpse of their lovely, loving behavior to each other. Best, Babsje

  5. Oh your photos are so fun. I like the line up of herons 😀

  6. How wonderful to experience their courtship.

  7. Such a beautiful site to see. Happy Valentine’s ..oh thanks for following my site and so glad I found uours.
    Anita

  8. It brought tears to my eyes. 🙂

  9. Een fantastisch schouwspel dit ritueel

  10. I agree about the Art Garfunkle cover. So happy you hear music with these magnificent birds. I confess I used to sing “There Is Nothing Like A Crow” (like a “Dame”)… This is a perfect Valentine’s Day post – thanks for the beautiful gift! Birds do Love so well.❤️

    • Hi Lisa. “Your singing Nothing Like a Crow” brought big smiles, thanks for that imagery and your lovely comment. You’re right that birds do love well! Best, Babsje

  11. well done Babsje! A true romantic at heart to be sure!

    • Hi Wayne. Thanks so much for the lovely comment. Those Herons were a fascinating pair to watch. I like observing and comparing GBH behavior to the other birds, like our Mute Swan pairs. Friday morning I was awakened by the neighborhood Crows raucous clamoring for the first time since last year – a sure sign of Spring (and then another middling snowstorm put the damper on the Crows). Best, Babsje

  12. Nice one and perfect for this day💕

    • Hi Anne. I’m so glad you enjoyed the pair of love birds, thanks for your sweet comment. Btw I have been enjoying your horse tales from warm & sunny Florida. Best, Babsje

  13. Congratulations! I have featured your post on CFFC for the week.
    I hope your week is off to a wonderful adventure.
    https://ceenphotography.com/2022/02/15/cffc-buildings/

  14. stunning shots and great commentary … if only humans retained the romance so well! Nice to meet you and appreciate your patient persistence to watch them for the duration, kudos!

  15. Love those Herons. Such character! Thanks for sharing your Heron world. 😍

  16. Love watching the herons nest and support each other Babsje. You’ve caught some lovely images of their devotion to each other and to the chicks-to-be. A fine tribute to Valentine’s day!!

    • Good morning Tina. I’m so pleased you enjoyed this fun little post. I’m sure you’ve observed similar in your Egret colony there. Many thanks for your lovely comment. Best, Babsje

  17. Great captures. 😊

  18. Great GBH shots! I have yet to see any two of them together.

    • So glad you appreciate this pair. They are so very solitary except in breeding season. Should be in a couple of months there for you. Good luck! Best, Babsje

  19. Wat heb je een prachtig moment uit gekozen

  20. We only get grey herons locally, but they are still impressive.
    Thank you for following my blog, which is appreciated. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Hi Pete. You’re welcome. Your Grey Herons are beautiful, too. They are very similar to our Great Blues, only slightly smaller. And frankly our Blue Herons aren’t actually blue – their feathers are grey for the most part – the blue coloring is an optical illusion resulting from refraction. Many thanks for your kind words. Best, Babsje

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