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Call of the wild: Heron haven

Posted by Marcia Dick  August 1, 2012 09:26 AM

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Medford photographer George McLean has been on the spot at the Brooks Estate, getting shots of two types of heron.

First the Great Blue (above):

"The mother bird appeared suddenly and this young bird flew through the air and crashed into mom. They were in a tangle for a moment, I was confused and thought I was seeing a hawk attack. Then I started photographing my lucky moment. Whatever mom stuffed down its throat, it was gone fast."

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes the Great Blue Heron: "Whether poised at a river bend or cruising the coastline with slow, deep wingbeats, the Great Blue Heron is a majestic sight. This stately heron with its subtle blue-gray plumage often stands motionless as it scans for prey or wades belly deep with long, deliberate steps. They may move slowly, but Great Blue Herons can strike like lightning to grab a fish or snap up a gopher. In flight, look for this widespread heron’s tucked-in neck and long legs trailing out behind."

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On to the Greens:

"This is what they first look like (above). Now that's a face only a mother could love!

"I have been going twice a day a few hours at a time and getting some great shots of the Cooper's Hawk family and the Green Herons they are trying to eat. Dave Pallin and Joe Callanan (of the former Roach's Sporting Goods in Cambridge) have been regulars. We pick out a spot and sit quietly in folding chairs.

"I have been watching this family for several weeks now. There are five babies (growing fast). This is dad (below) with a small fish in his beak."

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology described the Green Heron: "A small, stocky wading bird, the Green Heron is common in wet spots across much of North America. It can be difficult to see as it stands motionless waiting for small fish to approach within striking range, but it frequently announces its presence by its loud squawking."

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