I want to clearly stately up front that stereotypes have no place in wildlife photography. Herons helped me prove my point.
In my meandering around wildlife blogs, it seems like there are herons everywhere. Photographers are capturing them up close and personal with fairly modest zoom lenses. It’s almost like these herons are pets!
Just because I’ve never seen a Great Blue Heron close to where I live does not make me jealous in any way! Or the fact I’ve had very few opportunities to watch them.
I have spotted them on occasion in a national park a few hours away but it’s usually only a picturesque view of their distant tail feathers vacating the time zone I was entering.
My last encounter was somewhat typical. I was chatting with another photographer and she pointed out a Great Blue Heron that was on the other side of the lake. It was so far away, I could barely see it. I mustered up all my zooming power and took a photo. Sure enough it was there.
As soon as I photographed it she pointed out that it must have noticed us and slunk back into the weeds. She mentioned that she had seen this bird a few times and it was common behaviour for this extremely shy and skittish creature. So why was this one so shy compared to blog-world herons?
Then it hit me. The outgoing herons were all from American blogs. Everyone knows that Americans are a lot more outgoing than Canadians – apparently that also includes herons.
My Canadian heron was just a lot more shy. It was making sense now as I recalled an American heron in Yellowstone that was hanging around close to a road and didn’t seem fussed by my presence.
In the end I was pleased that I was able to avoid stereotyping all herons based on the actions of a few.