The Green Heron and the ninja turtles

October 24, 2016  •  1 Comment

Large River TurtleLarge River Turtle Birding on a bike was my weekend exercise and escape, with camera gear in my paniers. Along the way I spied a large turtle sunbathing in a side slough along the American River Parkway. I got off my bike, prepared my 600mm lens, and stalked my way back, staying out of his view and away from the rim of the slough until I could remain behind a tall bunch of grass. Slowly I emerge around the screen of grass with my lens in position to start shooting. My experience with these turtles is that they are very shy and dive into the river as soon as they see you. With luck, I got off a few shots (with out of focus grass blades still blocking my view) and slowly I improve my position, expecting him to bolt. A bird flies in and he dives. The bird is cool, it's a Green Heron, and a species that I haven't seen one for a while. He spook my subject but now I am bird watching. (This is a Red-eared Slider.)

 

Birds Oct Green Heron 137 copyBirds Oct Green Heron 137 copy

While the Heron spooked one of the turtles, there are three more nearby, and I see this play out like an episode of Wild Kingdom, with Marlin Perkins. Remember that? Mutual of Omaha and all. Well, the Heron wants to walk past the three turtles, and they aren't budging. He tries to look tall and scary, to no avail. 

Birds Oct Green Heron 167 turtles threeBirds Oct Green Heron 167 turtles three These must be ninja turtles because they are not shy and do not intimidate easily. They hold their position on the log and the Heron trying to frighten them does not work. (Two on the left are Red-eared Sliders, on the right is a Pacific Pond turtle.)

Birds Oct Green Heron 202Birds Oct Green Heron 202 The Heron has a long neck folded up under all those feathers, look at him stretch and puff up his feathers to try and scare the ninja turtles.

 

Birds Oct Green Heron 232Birds Oct Green Heron 232 Our Heron decides it'd be better if he just walked around, and not try to start anything.

 

 

 

Birds Oct Green Heron 239 walk aroundBirds Oct Green Heron 239 walk around

The turtles don't blink, our heron will have to go to plan B.

Birds Oct Green Heron 242Birds Oct Green Heron 242

Once the heron gets past the turtle she starts hunting for lunch, and she is quickly successful, catching two crawdads.

 

Birds Oct Green Heron 353Birds Oct Green Heron 353 Green Heron eats crawdad 008Green Heron eats crawdad 008

 

Green Heron eats crawdad 018 closeupGreen Heron eats crawdad 018 closeup

 

Green Heron eats crawdad 041Green Heron eats crawdad 041

 

Birds Oct Green Heron 299Birds Oct Green Heron 299


Comments

Shonna(non-registered)
Wow, these are amazing pictures! What a beautiful bird. How lucky for you and thanks for sharing!
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