Immature Little Blue Heron Foraging For Breakfast

We saw this Immature Little Blue Heron looking for its breakfast. It was just working an area around us and seemed not to be bothered by the many people around. Just kept searching for a meal. After a few bugs it did finally find a small lizard.

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Immature Little Blue Portrait – 400mm f/4 DO with 1.4x teleconverter. Two images stacked and blended in Photoshop.

Immature Little Blue Heron

We noticed this Immature Little Blue Heron working the shoreline looking for a meal at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. I was able to get a couple of images before it disappeared into the grasses. I was using a Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens with a Canon 1.4x Series III Teleconverter.

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Then we found another Immature Little Blue Heron along the Wildlife Drive out in the open near the end of the Wildlife Drive. It had a cluttered looking background, but it was unusual for us to see Little Blue Herons there, especially Immature ones.

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Egret & Heron Trees

One of my favorite spots at the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville NJ is this group of two trees near the end of the wildlife drive. It does not look like much at a quick glance, but if you look at what is in the trees it is full of photo opportunities. It is like a bird condo. The tree on the right has 64+ birds that you can see, not counting the ones on the other side and down below on the ground and in the water. The types I found on this pass were Great Egret, Little Egret, Snowy Egret, Immature Little Blue Heron, Immature Yellow-crowned Night Heron, in various amounts. Glossy Ibises were foraging in the water beneath and to the side, with Great Blue Herons and Cormorants. Plus there was constant coming and going. I have also seen Hawks, Bald Eagles,  Black-crowned Night Herons and Cattle Egrets here. It is a constant coming and going and depending on the water it can be extremely buggy. Sometimes you really have to scan the trees with a long lens and then you say did I see something. This time I saw something that I thought might be a Black-crowned Night-heron and waited for it to maybe move more and show itself. I was surprised to see 2 immature Yellow-Crowned Night-herons, which then flew off. There is also a number of small birds flying in and out. So depending how patient you are and how the bugs are behaving it is a fun place to observe and photograph.

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Immature Yellow-crowned Night-herons flying out.

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Immature Little Blue Heron

I was photographing a Great Egret by some sticks in the water. Then I noticed the other white bird was an Immature Little Blue Heron. It was fun to see there because you do not see too many in New Jersey, especially in Northern NJ..

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Eye to Eye

We stopped at the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge as we were heading home from our trip to Florida. When we got there it was overcast and looked like it had really rained before we got there. We decided to go in anyway and soon after we started walking, it started to drizzle. We went on and found a few photo opportunities, but the light was quite dark and dreary. I found these Little Blue Herons in a tree along the path. I thought it was interesting, there was an Immature (the white bird with bluish beak) and a Mature Little Blue looking at each other. The lighting was horrible and I had to raise my ISO to 1600 which starts to get noisy on a Canon EOS 1D MkIV. I try to keep the ISO to 1250 max, preferably 400, but I wanted to use f/8 for a little more depth of field. In Adobe Camera Raw I got as much noise as I could out without loosing too much detail. We went on looking for Sandhill Cranes and I finally saw a few flying in and landing in a group of about 20. They were really far out, but at least we saw some.

Immature Little Blue Heron

I saw this Immature Little Blue Heron looking for a meal along the shoreline. At first I did not pay attention because I was watching an Immature Bald Eagle circling above. I had noticed the white bird close to the shore, out of the corner of my eye and just assumed it was an Egret, then I noticed the blue bill and greenish legs. I was excited because it seems harder to find Immature Little Blues compared to other Immature birds because they seem to be more elusive. It was moving slowly along the shore giving me time to get a few photos before it retreated in the Mangrove roots along the shore. The Little Blue was in a dark area and I was handholding the camera, so I was shooting bursts to try to get a few sharp images out of the sequence since the shutter speed was only 1/40 of a second. I kept the f/stop at f/8 because I was using a 1.4X teleconverter and I wanted to add 1 additional stop to the f/5.6 of the lens with the teleconverter added for a little more sharpness.

Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4 lens, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter,  1/40 sec @ f/8, ISO 400, -0.33 Exposure Compensation

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Immature Bald Eagle – Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4 lens, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter,  1/500 sec @ f/11, ISO 400, +1.33 Exposure Compensation
Mature Little Blue Heron, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 DG lens @ 572mm,  1/250 sec @ f/8, ISO 400,

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