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User / Brown Acres Mark / Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Mark Heatherington / 1,508 items
Emigrant Lake - Jackson County - Oregon - USA

"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..... 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."
- Cornell University Lab of Ornithology
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  • Taken: Dec 13, 2017
  • Uploaded: Mar 21, 2019
  • Updated: Aug 9, 2020