Thursday, January 27, 2011

Need a little green?

When it's snowing around here it's fun. White and bright, the dancing, tumbling snowflakes bring excitement and beauty--and energy, but when it stops snowing, a thick grey cloud cover usually moves in and seems to drain the color from everything in its path. Although snow is still on the ground, we haven't seen any sparkly little snowflakes for a few days and the anticipation and energy that comes with a good snow has all but fizzled. One to two inches of snow is on the way tonight (yeah!), but right now, it's cold and colorless, so let's go green until the white arrives!

A young Tricolored Heron waits in his nest for his next meal. I took this photo on June 10, 2010 at the rookery on Pinckney Island in Hilton Head, SC (my favorite place to be in early June). It was so hot and steamy and wonderful that day...the sun was intense, the insects were loud, and the thousands of birds on nests were even louder.

I see you too!
If I lived in Hilton Head or anywhere near Pinckney Island, I would be useless. Day after day I would just prowl around Ibis Pond watching, painting and photographing birds. It's Heaven...

Oh no! Is something stuck in his throat?
Nahh...I just photographed him mid "gular flutter." Since birds don't sweat like we do, they need another way to dissipate the heat building up in their bodies. Most simply pant, but others, such as herons, pelicans, cormorants, nighthawks, owls, and even blue jays have the ability to vibrate the muscles in their upper throats (gular area) to speed evaporation from their respiratory tract through their open mouths. When the temp is pushing 100 degrees, you get to see a lot of gular fluttering at the rookery!!

Ack...I could just kiss that wiry-looking little head!!

36 comments:

Appalachian Lady said...

Such a great series of photos. He's at that awkward age I guess.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

He looks like he belongs on The Muppet Show!
I love that face.

Roy said...

Amusing shots Kelly.
So what made his hair stand on end then. {:)

YsMum said...

Fantastic shots!!!!

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Wow, what an odd and interesting bird! Beautiful shots:)

grammie g said...

Hi Kelly...That what happens to my hair when they cut it to short!!
Fantastic photo,and oh so funny!!

The Early Birder said...

Hi Kelly. Well Pinckney Island produces another magical close encounter ... I can understand why you love to visit. FAB.

forgetmenot said...

Such an interesting looking bird. I love those big eyes and those wild looking feathers on top of his head--looks like he got a claw stuck in an electrical outlet---- Yikes!

freebird said...

He is sooo cute! Great photos.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Love his wild hairdo! It's great to have photos like that to look back on when you're knee deep in snow :).

Montanagirl said...

Wonderful series! I love his face and his hairdo! You do some amazing photography.

SouthernHeart said...

Your photographs are so captivating! I love the colors in these. Just amazing!

Blessings,
Dianne
www.mysouthernheart.com

Marvin said...

Terrific photos. Gotta practice my gular flutter.

Jayne said...

LOL@ Lynne!

I loved Hilton Head too and didn't even visit this neat place. He's quite the cutie!

Wanda..... said...

Kelly, you have me laughing out loud this morning. Honestly, the whole world should see your photos!
I love them!

Kathiesbirds said...

Kelly, these shots are fabulous! One look in that birdy face will certainly wake you up in the morning! Add the gular flutter and you have the perfect device to replace an alarm clock! Now, how do you set the timer and market the thing????

Warren Baker said...

Hmmmmmm.....that wirey looking head is not at all unlike mine :-)

Great pics Kelly !

Betsy from Tennessee said...

What a funny-looking little guy, Kelly... You should have at least taken him to the barber shop before taking his picture... ha ha

Love the ones where you two are looking straight at each other. I call that 'the LOOK'... ha ha

Hugs,
Betsy

Elaine said...

He definitely brightens up the day, even though the sun is shining brightly on our snow and making it glitter. I love his do!

Caroline said...

Tee hee! Those last two pics are priceless - what a character! Having an owl moment (and giveaway) over at mine if you have the time do pop in! http://carolinesstudio.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-owl-prints-and-giveaway.html

Kyle said...

Wonderful shots, Kelly! I love the 'do' this youngster has going. ;-)

Bob Bushell said...

Superb set of pictures.

oldcrow61 said...

I absolutely love these pictures and yes, I'd love to kiss that wiry head as well.

Kjell T. Evensen said...

Beautiful series, but I think I would think twice before I would kiss that bird. ;)

Lois Evensen said...

What a pretty face! ;)

Terrific images!

Hugs,
Lois

Laure Ferlita said...

Nearly missed this!

So, did he get an audition with the muppet show?!!

Too too cute!

Paula said...

Wonderful series!!! The photos are fantastic! What a face!

Tammie Lee said...

wow, that bird is having a wonderful hair day! So wonderful to see COLOR! and cuteness in this critter, great photos ms. Kelly!

Margaret Bednar said...

I'm not sure his kiss back would be enjoyable. I only see my Blue Herons from afar - but I am going to try and get out this weekend with my tripod early morning and maybe I will get lucky. These photos are amazing. How close were you - or just a major lens?

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone. I really enjoyed watching this little baby, and there were so many to watch! I really wasn't that close. I had a 400mm lens (200mm plus a 2x). Then I cropped the image down in Photoshop for the close-up.

Hilke Breder said...

Oh, what wonderful images, Kelly! Looks like he's plugged into an electric outlet in the last two pics.

Kelly said...

haha! Yes...there must have been a lot of electric outlets around...all the babies had the same do--so much fun to watch those feathery, spiky heads bobbing around.

Cicero Sings said...

What a face! What a hairdo! What a bird!!!

Kerri said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this series!

Angela said...

The absolute cutest thing I have ever seen. It truly makes me smile. No giggle.

dAwN said...

OMG!!!! I LOVE these!!