Monday, June 8, 2009

Garden Visitor--Blue Heron?

About 8 pm on June 7th I noticed some large movement on the fence near the garden. This young fellow had landed on our fence and sat staring at me for a few moments.

I froze and screamed for Curtis to grab the camera. The bird was completely unfazed by me standing there and screaming. I was able to get within 10 feet of him before he flew away. He was not a great flier, it was a very gangly and akward flight, but he was able to easily clear our fence and the trees behind the house before he dissappeared from sight.

I'll have to do some research to figure out exactly what he was. I'm guessing a baby blue heron. We live about two streets away from a golf course with a creek and there are many mature trees everywhere in our neighborhood. I have often seen herons fishing in the creek that is about half a mile from our house too.

As he was standing there, it appeared he was standing on only one leg, and as he flew off, we saw that one leg was just dangling freely. Looking closely at the photos, it is clear that his right leg is very thin and he is not putting any weight on it. I have never seen a heron so young before (and I grew up on a lake). This guy had obvious pin feathers at his head and back and had a very gawky juvenille look to him. I wonder if he had fallen from the nest or was pushed because of his deformity. I hope he'll be okay out in the world. I'm sure he took off becuase he could read my thoughts... I wanted to capture him and nurse him back to health. Mmm, pureed fish anyone?

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