Friday, January 15, 2010

wildlife run

I went for a run this afternoon. And I loved it, because whenever I run in Steveston (where I live) I see all sorts of animals. For instance, I run past a big, dead tree, and usually in it sits two bald eagles. They are beautiful.

Today was especially neat, however, because I got within feet of a blue heron. And this is the second time it has happened.

The great blue heron is the largest in North America, with a wingspan of 180 cm. As you can see in the picture I've taken, it has black feathers, red-brown thighs and feathers. It is beautiful. Some people don't favour birds, but I can't help but think they are the most gorgeous creatures on earth.

The Blue Heron migrates from Florida, Mexico and to South America, and also, in Steveston. Which is lovely. They are normally found in marshes, and Steveston has many of that. I've watched this particular heron sit and listen to the water before it strikes its beak down, usually finding a turtle or fish. I've never seen it pull up a turtle, but according to Wiki it does eat them. It also eats shellfish, insects, rodents, reptiles (snakes) and other small birds.

I do think though that my favourite thing about them is their eyes. They look at you, and when they do you feel like they are examining you, contemplating whether or not you are a threat to them based on your movements, your reactions. But the look they give is more than just a form of defense, it is somewhat intimidating, intense, and yet they do it calmly, as though they aren't afraid at all. You wonder whether they themselves will turn on your and attack you with their beaks.

Perhaps the nicest thing about herons is... they are nowhere near becoming extinct. They are of the 'least concern' in conservation status, and that makes me rather happy.

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