Great Blue Heron On A Cold Morning

Great Blue Heron - Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge - Oklahoma

Great Blue Heron - Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge - Oklahoma

I photographed this Great Blue Heron yesterday morning when the temperature was 17 °F (-8.33 °C). I was at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I know this Heron looks like it is cold but it was catching shad and didn't seem to mind the freezing water at all. I think it was taking a break after eating several shad.

A thin layer of ice was surrounding this spot and several Ring-billed Gulls landed on it and try to get to the fish. The Great Blue Heron had the only ice-free area that seemed to have fish. The Gulls didn't get around the Heron but that may have been because I was close by.

I started out trying to photograph a Belted Kingfisher perched in a tree near the water. I was able to get close with my pickup but because of a branch covering the bird, I passed on photographing it and photographed the Heron instead.

Here is a photo of a Great Blue Heron that I did photograph with a minnow: Great Blue Heron With A Snack

How I Got The Shot - Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron was west of the Tuff Boat Ramp on the south side of the tour road. I see one of these birds in this area on about every trip. I'm not sure if it is the same bird or not but I bet it is.

I had my camera resting on a bean bag draped over the open window of my pickup. I was able to park straight out from the bird without disturbing it. It waded close to me several times, and I was able to get many close-up photos.

I was using my Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera with the Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens. I was shooting in aperture priority mode (AV) with a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second at f5.6 and the ISO at 1000. I also had a +0.7 exposure value. White Balance was set on auto. I was using single point, continuous auto focus with evaluative metering.

BirdsSteve Creek