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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Venice Area Audubon Rookery

February 10th, 2013 · 2 Comments

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On the morning of our last full day in Florida, I had the pleasure of visiting a paradise for nature photographers, the Venice Area Audubon Rookery. This rookery on a small pond is close to where a dozen photographers, most with bigger lenses than mine, lined up before sunrise to capture images of Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and other birds on their nests. Near the small city of South Venice, Florida, the rookery is an hour and one-quarter north of where Sharon and I stayed on Pine Island during the month of January.

I don’t think that any image ever pleased me more than this shot of the courtship of two Great Blue Herons. The light couldn’t have been better: the sun was at my back, no clouds darkened the view, and the birds were courting. I got this shot about a quarter hour after the sun rose.

The Kiss of the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

The Kiss of the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

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The Dance of a Great Blue

The Dance of a Great Blue

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Great Blue Chicks Beg for Food

Great Blue Chicks Beg for Food

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At the start of my visit to the rookery I saw the Great Egrets below in a natural frame. But they were turned away from me and I almost gave up on them. I was determined to leave an hour after sunrise, which had come about 7:15, but when the time came they still hadn’t turned. Finally, six minutes later they turned around and I was able to capture this image and return to Pine Island.

Great Egrets (Ardea alba) Nest Together

Great Egrets (Ardea alba) Nest Together

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Photographers call the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset the golden hour or the magic hour. I think these pictures show why we say that.

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Posted in: Florida

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Shelley // Mar 5, 2013 at 10:18 am

    All of the pictures of the blue herrons are awesome but that courtship shot – wow!

  • 2 David Mendosa // Mar 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you, Shelley. This photo may be my favorite of all the shots I ever took. And just yesterday I got a 24″x24″ professionally-made print of it that now graces my living room. Eventually, I will give it to my church to sell in its annual auction.

    Namaste,

    David

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