The dead leaves adrift on the water’s surface are a poignant reminder of the season’s end, and a promise of rebirth in the spring. In a similar manner, the worn plumage of the Great Blue Heron hints at its renewal by molt.

Online, I was able to find only brief references to this bird’s molting habits. Several writers pointed out that the juvenile molts four times in its first two years of life, as it sheds its youthful plumage in favor of adult feathers. Another mentioned that the adult molts before the breeding season, which in these parts occurs from March through May.

This photo of a juvenile great blue was taken on October 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm. It is one of two such birds that have been seen on the pond lately, the other being an adult.

Click to hear a Great Blue Heron call (courtesy Wikipedia Commons).

See related posts: Great Blue Icon*, Great Blue at Dawn*. Click image to enlarge it, and browser’s back arrow to close. Comments are welcome, indeed eagerly sought.

 

One Response to Great Blue in Fall*

  1. Dick Quinn says:

    Interesting commentary, Ron. The pic has good light, composition and resolution.

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