It’s almost impossible to miss seeing a Great Blue Heron flying within 100 yards of you – its pointed prehistoric head and trailing long, boney legs piercing the air like a hurled spear; its six feet of wings like attached flags, furling and unfurling, then spreading out for a glide. If you’re close enough, you also can hear those big wings push and draw large amounts of air while the bird is trying to gain height – womph, womph, womph.
But it’s a different matter trying to see the slim, very slow-moving profile of a Great Blue fishing amid the cattails 100 yards away. We know that countless numbers of unseen GBHs have watched us looking in vain for them.
Great Blues are our largest Herons (hence the title “Great”), but they’re among our skinniest birds. They can reach almost five feet in length, but usually weigh much less than eight pounds. While slow on their feet, they can achieve a respectable air speed of about 30 miles per hour. (Brooklin, Maine)