Great Blue Herons are a regular visitor to Roundtop’s ponds. I can’t call them common visitors, though sometimes that is true, and it can also be true in certain months. Sometimes I think one adds Roundtop to its regular route and shows up daily for a few months. Sometimes that doesn’t happen, and I don’t see them for several months.
This year I’ve only seen them a time or two. This one showed up for the first time last evening, so it’s too soon to know if this one will become a regular visitor or just a one-time occurrence. These birds look especially big and clunky when they are standing out on dry land, which doesn’t happen all that often. Usually they are up to their knees in water, skulking around cattails or other tall reeds. They look clunky enough even then, but that’s nothing compared to how they look out of the water.
The birds are at least 3 feet tall, often 4 feet tall, and have a 5-6ft. wingspan. Despite their huge size, like most birds they don’t weigh much—under 5 lbs. They are pretty wary birds, and I’ve found it rare to get very close to them. Typically, they give a loud croak and fly off at the first sign of something near them. I was in the car when I took this photo, which helped a bit, though this bird didn’t hang around very long even so. Even a brief visit adds a bit of drama to the day. Something this large brings its own drama even if it doesn't do much.