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Playful Great Blue Heron chicks in the nest, Venice Rookery, Florida

May 3, 2013

This week’s “Florida Friday” photograph is once again photograph taken at the Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida. Place internationally known to birders and bird photographers for its nesting activity of Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Anhingas, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Glossy Ibises, Green Herons, Tricolored Herons and Black-crowned Night-Herons. Definitely place worth a visit!

Once again it is a common bird in New Jersey but rarely seen in its early age, Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias):

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias Venice Rookery Florida chicks

– for larger view and EXIF data, please click on the image – Photograph taken with a Canon 7D camera and 500mm f/4 lens + 1.4x extender II

“Cool Facts:

– Thanks to specially shaped neck vertebrae, Great Blue Herons can curl their neck into an S shape for a more aerodynamic flight profile and to quickly strike prey at a distance.

– Great Blue Herons have specialized feathers on their chest that continually grow and fray. The herons comb this “powder down” with a fringed claw on their middle toes, using the down like a washcloth to remove fish slime and other oils from their feathers as they preen. Applying the powder to their underparts protects their feathers against the slime and oils of swamps.

– Despite their impressive size, Great Blue Herons weigh only 5 to 6 pounds thanks in part to their hollow bones—a feature all birds share.

– Great Blue Herons can hunt day and night thanks to a high percentage of rod-type photoreceptors in their eyes that improve their night vision.” – Cornell Lab

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