I’ve seen egrets and herons flying over my yard, but until today I never saw one in my yard. I walked outside this afternoon and was very startled when a huge bird took off from the backyard. I went to grab my camera and looked for the bird, hoping I might see it somewhere in the area, maybe flying overhead. No big birds were flying by, but then I noticed this.

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Yes, there was a Great Blue Heron up in the big pine tree. This large bird is 46 inches in length with a wingspan of 6 feet. The mottled streaking on its neck indicates that it’s a young bird. It was late afternoon and the low sun in the west lit the bird from behind with a golden glow.

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The heron spent some time grooming itself up there.

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It looked around, including up overhead.

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I love the pose and the light in this photo.

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Looking off over its shoulder.

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Another shot I really liked.

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Preparing for take-off.

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And a moment later the heron was gone.

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