This stately bird is the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). Standing at upwards of 4-1/2 feet tall, the Great Blue is the largest of the North American herons. It can be found in fresh- or saltwater marshes, streams, ponds - even backyard fishponds- moving slowly and stealthily as it stalks its prey of fish, frogs, snakes and other small prey which it captures with lightning fast jabs of its blade-like bill.
The Great Blue is also easy to identify in flight: It’s head and neck pull back to an S-shape while its large wings beat slowly and steadily and its long legs trail behind. This bird makes me appreciate so deeply the many water-rich environments surrounding our community.