More birdblogging. Story behind the photo below the break.
This is from my other favorite place in Florida. No, not Walt Disney World, though I suppose that’s a halfway-decent guess. This green heron shot was taken at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, an Audubon-sponsored refuge set in a broad cypress stand near the Everglades. These guys are real characters, though fairly difficult to spot except on the semi-rare occasions that they’re right out in the open like this one. By the way, despite what you may think from looking at the photo, green herons do indeed look green. Their green plumage, however, is iridescent, so the degree of greenness depends on the angle of the light; the sun was apparently bouncing off this guy in a “blue” direction when I took the photo.
Green herons, like most herons and egrets, feed by fishing from above the surface. Some of the longer-legged species hunt for food while wading in the shallows, while guys like this one fish from a perch just above water. They generally stand stock-still, poised hanging just over the water’s surface, until something edible swims by (at which point the bird’s head moves faster than Mach 1 to spear the little wiggly thing). Florida’s Gulf Coast is also host to a very stark exception to this heron/egret “barely move until something swims by and then bang!” rule of feeding, and I’ll post photos of that species at a later date.