After a slow start, it’s rainy season in Florida. Usually we can expect storms every afternoon thanks to the sea breeze collision from the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and the storms last for about a half an hour. In the last few weeks however, we’ve had some storms last the better part of a day and dump inches upon inches of rain. With swelling retention ponds and drainage ditches full of water making them look more like creeks, wading birds are loving it. Herons and Egrets that have been limited to larger bodies of water are now able to spread out a little and find food all around them. Birds like this Great Blue Heron photographed at John Chestnut Sr. Park are now easily seen in my neighborhood retention pond enjoying lunch.
At approximately four feet tall, the Great Blue Heron is the largest North American Heron with a wing span of up to six feet. One of the most common herons, the Great Blue Heron is often seen in shallow water stalking fish. They are found near fresh or salt water, with fish serving as their main diet, but will also eat small frogs, reptiles and insects. Great Blue Herons are monogamous opting to nest in trees near the water in colonies of up to 100 birds. This Heron was photographed at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo, FL, from a bridge over the McKay Creek.