Birds of the Marsh – Herons and Egrets

SmallHeronLike I mentioned in a previous post, Birds of the Marsh – Osprey Nest, I have been visiting local bird refuges. I also mentioned joining a local birding organization, the Buffalo Ornithological Society.

I want to learn more about the birds that frequent Western New York, so I thought a good place to start was the BOS. I know about birds in my backyard and I know how to make a habitat suitable for them to live safely and productively.

What I don’t know is…

the almost 400 varieties that either live year round or migrate through. It is pretty likely that most home gardeners also do not know that many varieties of birds unless active birders themselves.

SmHeronThere are birds that I don’t see here that I want to see in the fields, like the large family of Warblers. To find them, I have to go to where they live like I did at the Bird Banding Event with Buffalo Audubon. Joining a Society will have those that have this knowledge and experience. When a bird chirps in a tree, they know what bird it is. I hear chirps and have no clue, except for those I see in my own yard like cardinals, blue jays, hummingbirds and sparrows etc.


The marsh birds are especially fascinating and I very much enjoy photographing them. I also saw many small shore birds on my recent trip, but was not sure what I was seeing. I want to know.


The little Plover above for instance. It is a variety of Plover but there are so many of these tiny birds running all around. They look awfully similar. Even when I look in my field book I am still confused. It takes time to learn identification.


It is not like it has any real value knowing since I don’t have a career that benefits from this knowledge, but it is a fun hobby. I brought my binoculars on my outing with them, because that is the only way to see some of the birds.


I am also participating in the Buffalo Audubon events too. They have great learning experiences and nature walks. I just went to a bird banding seminar as I mentioned above. It was held at their Beaver Meadows site. You have seen the post Banding the Bird in the Hand. Now I can recognize some of the Warblers.

SmallHeron-2This bird above I think is an immature Green Heron at Tifft. It has more patterning than I have seen on other Green Heron.

BlHeronInMarshThe Great Blue Herons were very plentiful at the Iroquois Bird Refuge. You can see above that they have a beautiful place to summer.


They are very elegant flyers.


The Great Egrets were common at the Refuge as well. They were a bit harder to photograph being white. The same with the swan below.


SwanNot sure why there was only one swan, but spotted it on the way to the Refuge.

I also want to send you to a blog you must see. Phil has the most beautiful bird photos taken in a Myrtle Beach, SC marsh that you have ever seen. Please see Phil Lanoue Photography. Everyday there is gorgeous photos and such interesting stories posted. You know I only send you to blogs with the best!

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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18 Responses to Birds of the Marsh – Herons and Egrets

  1. alesiablogs says:

    My son started photography in high school and he need a camera. I thought he could use my digital, but now I am not sure. l I am hoping you can give me an idea of a inexpensive one I can buy him that meets requirements of his teacher. : )
    Here are the requirements: SLR (film or digital-I plan to get him a digital) with ability to control aperture, shutter, speed, iso, and focus ( A, S, M or Tv, Av, M)..Any thoughts appreciated. I do not mind spending about $150.

    As usual interesting post. We have a lot of marsh areas here for sure. Alesia

  2. See any night herons? I love those guys

  3. Pat says:

    Love that first shot.

  4. connie661 says:

    The larger birds, such as egrets and heron, fascinate me. It’s amazing to see them fly. Being larger, they also give me hope that I would be able to capture them in photos!

  5. Dana S. Hugh says:

    Thnak you Donna for your post, amazing shots and thank you for Phill’s website.

  6. janechese says:

    Thanks for this, quite enjoyable!

  7. Choke full of information and -as always- amazing pictures!
    Happy Friday and weekend coming, Donna!

  8. cindy knoke says:

    Stunning shot!! Kudos~

  9. Phil Lanoue says:

    Wow! I was reading your post through thinking how much I was enjoying seeing especially the little greenie but then was very surprised and pleased when I got to the end and read your very kind words and endorsement of my photos! Thanks so much and I truly liked seeing the wildlife in your area marsh! Would love to see more. 🙂

  10. Great post and some gorgeous photos, Donna. I visited Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef back in July and tested out my new SLR on the very obliging local birds (actually egrets rather than herons). It’s interesting to compare the reef birds with their wetlands relations.

  11. bittster says:

    Great pictures, for me clear bird photos are nearly impossible! I always love the lushness of a wetland this time of year, they seem to be peaking in color and growth while so many other things in the garden are winding down.

  12. Gorgeous shots! Love wetlands.

  13. A.M.B. says:

    Beautiful pictures! I am very familiar with the birds in my backyard, but I barely know the marsh birds who live in my region. By the way, we took a trip to Assateague Island yesterday and saw many, many snowy egrets. They are such beautiful birds.

  14. Brian Comeau says:

    Looks like joining the birding group has paid off…. fabulous shots!

  15. Lovely heron photos. We have so many in Maine and they are always posing for elegant photos like gracious ladies and gentlemen.

  16. Simply beautiful. Love the long shot of the egret in the water…

  17. Love the photos of the birds. I’m glad you get confused trying to find which one it is in the field guide. I have the same problem. When I start trying to identify some of my birds, they all start looking alike more or less. Have a great day. Blessings, Natalie

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