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Old Jan 27, 2005, 11:36 PM   #1
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I was out looking for eagles (I'll post those soon) and was surprised to see this Great Blue Heron still around. Now, I know that some do winter over up here in the North East. But I just don't understand why. That snow you see falling in the picture left us with 20-30 inches when it ended. They have nice big wings, why not fly south????

That part of the river was one of the few places that wasn't frozen over. I'm sure he was hanging out watching for food.

This was taken from a bridge (he is sitting on part of the center support) with cars driving by. Not the sharpest situation, but I'm not unhappy with the results.

Camera: 20D 600mm f4 +1.4TC 1/320 f5.6 tripod
PhotoShop: RAW convert, various contrast, levels, sharpening, crop, reduce

ps. No point in using neat image, it would have detected the falling snow and destroyed the image.
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Old Jan 28, 2005, 3:06 AM   #2
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Watching this bird makes me feel "bbbrrrrrrrrr... cold". I like the composition.
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Old Jan 28, 2005, 5:46 AM   #3
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Nice shot. Good exposure and detail on what appears to be quite a dismal day.
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Old Jan 28, 2005, 8:13 AM   #4
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It was a very cold day. It started at -4 degrees at 7am when I got up and by 10 it was -8. By 2 it was up to around 14 degrees. It then turned around and got colder.

I have a neat shot of the ocean steaming because it was about 40 degrees (yes, 45 degrees warmer than the air.) It was a very odd sight.

I had fun that day... but I don't think I want to do it again for awhile.

Glad you two liked the shot. I worked hard to get the exposure right ont he dark parts. Any contrast adjustments whiped it out... so I played tricks with masks and layers.

Eric
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Old Jan 28, 2005, 8:29 AM   #5
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I would make a guess as to why they don't migrate. Those birds are very territorial. You don't see groups of them standing in the shallows and fishing like you do egrets, spoonbills etc. It seems all of the decent fishing territories would be taken and fights would ensue. Safer to stay in your own territory and find what fish you can.

I've been feeding a heron for about 3 years now. He is the only bird that will give up food to chase off another heron. And he isn't satisfied just that the other bird leaves. Bubba follows hot on the other bird's tail with mayhem in his heart until well out of sight. Bubba defended this neighborhood as his territory long before I started feeding him.

A migrating heron would probably encounter dangerous hostility any time they needed food enroute to winter quarters in the south. Only to get there and have to fight for a place to feed.

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Old Jan 28, 2005, 10:04 AM   #6
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Interesting theory. I've seen herons outfight fight (vicious birds.) I'm not surprised by what you say yours does.

Many definitely leave, as I see much fewer of them. But maybe some want a jump on nesting spots and like the less competition up here during the winter. Fewer other herons to fight up here.

Eric
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