A couple of days ago, I decided that I would take a few hours to visit a local park. Tibbett's Brook Park is one of the loveliest spots in the City of Y______- the brook expands into a pretty pond which provides a home for a variety of wildlife. I was lucky to get very close to a juvenile great blue heron (Ardea herodias):
There are a couple of adult great blue herons at my usual workplace, and they are extremely shy. As soon as one sees me approach with twenty meters, it takes off, croaking in a most desultory fashion (seriously, check out the embedded audio file at the Cornell Ornithology Labs website linked above- for such a beautiful bird, the blue heron makes some ugly, ugly sounds).
I spent some time conversing with an elderly woman while we watched the heron slowly stalk through the lake, then strike to catch a small fish. I felt privileged to be able to observe the bird at such close range, they are typically very, very wary. I don't know if the great blues suffered the population decline that the egrets did due to the feather trade, which would explain why they don't dig us primates. If only I could convince the worksite herons to overcome their wariness, I'd be ecstatic.