Heron on the Half-Shell
Posted 04 July 2012 - 03:38 AM
Within minutes of this shot being taken several Osprey began circling the Heron's nest and one settled in an unused nest next door. That got me to thinking that perhaps the Osprey were seeking to feed on the Heron's chick (unusual for Osprey) or that the chick may have been dead. And THAT got me to thinking that perhaps the parent Heron was sitting on the dead chick in such a way as to cause its wings to spread. The idea that the chick was dead was reinforced by the idea that I have never seen a live bird on its back.
Then JimB (if you haven't checked out Jim's website - http://jimbuescher.zenfolio.com/ - I highly recommend it) suggested that perhaps the Osprey were a distraction and that the Heron was simply sunning itself, with its wings turned upwards to the sun and thus perpendicular to its spine.
So what do y'all think? I am leaning towards Jim's explanation at the moment. My only reservation is that I don't know if it is anatomically possible for a GBH to get its wings into this position. BTW, the title of this post is a reference to Sandro Botticelli's 'The Birth of Venus' - http://en.wikipedia....s_(Botticelli). The image of that painting popped into my mind immediately as I was photographing this.
Posted 04 July 2012 - 05:31 AM
Posted 04 July 2012 - 06:04 AM
I agree that the heron was just sunning itself. If you look closely at the bird's right wing(the one on our left) where it joins the body, you can plainly see that the wing belongs to the upright heron, it's not the wing of a second bird.
Yes, I can clearly see that now that you point it out. I just checked the full-sized image and it is very clear. Well, that settles the matter then. Thanks!
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