Birdblogging with attitude! (Which is what birdblogging looks like with photos taken during breeding season.) Story behind the photo below the break.
Much as I love the Ding, I was cursing the topography of this photo’s setting the whole time, as the only angle available was very limiting.
Breeding plumage in male herons and egrets can get quite spectacular, but what you see here is nothing compared to the display I couldn’t capture. The spiky, fringed plumes hanging off of his back are simply the holstered version of what he looked like in full mating strut. Every few seconds, he would stoop over, fan those feathers out, puff out his tailfeathers, spread his wings, and burble romantically to the two females standing about fifteen feet away.
Unfortunately, that’s where the topography came in. This was the only angle I could get where he was in full view, and since he was facing slightly away from me, I couldn’t get a good shot of this full display; all I got was a frame full of his fluffy tuchas. It may have been the frustration talking, but I wasn’t wowed by a permanent record of the time I was mooned by a randy night heron.
By the way, as for the two females for whom he was showing off, it appeared they were having none of it. Didn’t even bat an eye. The poor guy in the photo eventually slunk away to sulk.