[Tweeters] Great Blue Heron Flock

Bill Anderson billandersonbic at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 12 09:03:41 PDT 2010

A while back someone reported (s)he saw what (s)he believed to be a large flock
of great blue herons riding an updraft high in the sky.   There was speculation
in the follow-up discussion that the birds were not great blue herons but some
sort of raptor, like a turkey buzzard.

On 7-5-10, I witnessed a similar occurance in Edmonds.  Around sunset a flock of
eleven great blue herons gliding over Puget Sound approached Edmonds from the
north.  The flock glided over the ferry dock, made a 180* circle, and came to
roost on the roof of the enclosed pedestrian walkway from the ferry terminal to
the ferry. 

I have been under the impression that great blue herons do not like to be in
close proximity to one another.   I have never seen them flying together in
a group other than when they simultaneously take off from the marsh at the sight
of an eagle.  

The pedestrian walkway is not a regular great blue heron perch like the marina
roofs a little further to the south.   The sight was very impressive for both
the number of herons and the fact that I never saw them flap their wings until
they made the turn.  Their approach was one long glide.

Even though I accidentally had my camera on the wrong setting for the rapidly
receding light, I was still able to get some good photos.
Bill Anderson; Edmonds, WA.

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