Nature Photography – Michigan Great Blue Heron
One Early Morning in a Michigan Metro Park

During my regular excursion into nature, I would often encounter this large and Prehistoric looking bird with big bluish, grayish plummage. I have seen this giant Great Blue Heron many times, but have never gotten tired of Michigan Blue Heron presents, its high glide, loud squawk and proud elongated super strut.

great blue heron has landed michigan bird

great blue heron has landed

Michigan  Big Beautiful Blue

This majestic looking bird has provided the most picturesque silhouette is often seen in many occasions such as landscape scenes, photo back drops, artist drawings and gift items.  This Michigan Bird is a elongated beautiful bird with it’s long neck and tall legs that help to create the most  interesting scenery when stalking prey of small fish, or standing motionless with that trademark one-legged pose. In full sun or dense fog, the Grey Heron is a bird sighting that will always create a feeling of relaxation and always grab my attention.  See this spectacular landing of the Great Blue Heron Michigan Bird


With an open in-flight wing span that can extend over six feet, the blue Michigan Bird of nature is hard to miss. Whether seen in one of Michigan’s wetlands or Metro Parks, walking on the ground, gliding close near the water’s surface or flying high, Big Blue is lord of the skies and one of the rare birds that with it’s every move ,can become the center of everyone’s attention.  The loud squawk of this peculiar Michigan trademark bird is truly reminiscent of a sound coming right out of  one of those infamous Jarassic Park movies. If you happen to startle one of these wetland birds the Big Blue will bealow out a deep bass-like, slow motion, long cackle sound that fills the surrounding air. Or, it will cackle at other Herons that enter it’s territory uninvited. It is a common sight to watch one Blue Heron chasing close behind another until it reach the outer edge of the more dominate Blue Herons domain.

Bird Photo Great Blue Heron

Blue Heron Looking Up

After settling territory dispute, the giant heron will slowly circle the area then glide back down looking as light as a feather where upon it can resume it’s fishing activities.

Nest Building – Top of the World
Big Blue Michigan Herons

The Great Blue Heron birds of Michigan that raise their young in a community of other Blue Herons and sometimes the colony is shared with White Egrets high in the tree tops.  What a spectacular sight of nature to behold which will also provide many opportunities for nature photography of this awesome Bird of Michigan.

michigan-birds-blue-heron nest building

Michigan-Birds-Blue-Heron nest building


Blue Heron – Michigan Bird Winter and Summer

The Great Blue Heron will often make a grand entrance to the wetland by first circling high above then slowing descending with it’s wings extended outward and legs pointed downward.


Blue Heron on Run Way Prepare for Take Off

Blue Heron on Run Way Prepare for Take Off


Blue Herons of Michigan are Great Fisherman

After landing, the heron will stand motionless assessing the area for possible danger. Then after the surveillance is complete, a quick wing fluff ritual is conducted to tiddy up the plumage. He then gaze down toward the water… let the hunt begin!  Blue Heron ready to attack.


Blue Heron Michigan Bird Twins-Double-Hitter Catch of the day

Blue Heron Double-Hitter Catch of the Day


This giant Blue Heron leaped out of the water and then quickly enjoyed a two piece catfish meal!


Great Blue Heron Michigan Bird Low Glider

Great Blue Heron Michigan Bird Low Glider


Blue Herons Michigan’s Bird of Flight

One early morning and quite unexpectedly, a large male heron had demonstrated one of the reasons he has earned the title of “Great” as a prefix to its name…. by catching a double hitter (two large catfish at once.)

Notice the beautiful shades of bluish gray plumage of the various second and first primary feathers from this top down view of the bird in flight.


Great Blue Heron Michigan Bird -Hang Glide

Great Blue Heron Michigan Bird -Hang Glide


View a couple of more Great Blue Heron photos shown below, shots taken at Kensignton and Erie Metro Parks.


Great Blue Heron – Michigan’s Kensignton Metro Park Rookery

Kensington Park located in S.E. Michigan boasts one of the largest and oldest Heron Rookery in the State.  It is comprised and populated with Great White Egrets and Great Blue Herons.  Nest building is very active in the early months of April.

Great Blue Heron - The Family

Great Blue Heron – The Family


About the Great Blue Heron

Nature Photography – Michigan Bird Identification
Photo Taken: Lake Eire MetroPark

Group: Herons and Egrets
Name: Blue Heron
Ardea Herodias

The Michigan Blue Heron is a long 4′-6′ wingspan, blueish and gray plumage, long skinny legs, and long neck.

Adult: Color is blue and gray

Juvenile: More grey-ish white in color with a speckled chest

Flight Characteristics:
Extended wings in flight and typically flap and glide.  The Blue Heron will glide over the surface of water until it reach a hunting place.

Habitat: The Michigan Blue Heron prefers open grasslands, lakes and wetlands.

Nesting: Blue Herons will construct a rather large mounded nests made of branches and twigs of various sizes. They can be spotted high in the tops of trees, in parks in what can be best described as amazing tree top condominiums technically called a rookery. There might be 30 or more pairs and families of blue herons cackling and making all sorts of noises as each brings new branches to expand their own individual nests.

Incubates 4-7 pale blue eggs for appx 28 days. Younglings go in flight in about 60 days from day of birth.

Mating Habits: The Michigan Blue Herons mate for one year and find a new mate for next season.

Off Spring: (Juvenile) as with most larger birds.

Feeding: Fish, frogs(amphibians), small chipmunks etc.

Call: Series of low-deep croaking noises.

About the Photography

nature photography - michigan

Nature Photography by Ike Austin – Birds of Michigan Series
Photography that is Therapy for the Soul 

Michigan Bird by Ike AustinMichigan Bird photo by Ike Austin



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  • As a kid, I spent an enormous amount of time down by the river. I was drawn like a magnet to the many sounds of nature that filled the air-the tides rumbling ashore, the faint call of seagulls echoing in the distant background. I would remain there all day under the pretense that I was fishing. I would walk the shores for miles, moving from one spot to the next. I later discovered that the sky above this river was alive. 
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