Scene in Edmonds: Dinner time

A silently moving Gray Heron looking for food at the Edmonds Marsh. (Photo by Michael P. Lowell)

12 Replies to “Scene in Edmonds: Dinner time”

  1. Nice shot.

    I’m fairly certain it’s a Great Blue Heron.

    Susan, there are many around the waterfront and the marsh.


  2. Actually it is a Gray Heron, the Great Blue was at the Marsh but back in the field resting. A Great Blue has a thicker neck and ranges around 5 to 7 lbs And larger wing span, while the Gray Heron has more white on blue colors, and is smaller around 3 to 5 lbs with smaller body and wing span. You can always tell the difference by the white and blue colors for the gray vs the great blue heron which is mostly blue feathers. Thanks for the comments!


    1. Yes, thanks Bill. I’m by no means an expert but from the research I did and other Herons I’ve had a chance to photographed, it match the Grey more than the Great Blue. Maybe it was a younger blue? As noted the Great Blue was off in the back area of the Marsh standing much taller and larger than this specimen. Thanks!


  3. I have been photographing herons at the marsh for nearly ten years. Their sizes can be deceptive when they scrunch down or do other contortions as they groom themselves, stretch out, take off, etc. Many of my photos can be seen here:

    According to Chris Anderson of the Washington State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, our local great blue herons are a regional subspecies (Olympic subspecies?, memory is hazy) which do not migrate but remain in the area year round.


  4. Here is an e-mail, forwarded in its entirety, that I received from Chris Anderson of DFW
    Hi Bill,
    If this is a question of species – yes, that is a Great Blue Heron in the picture, not the Gray Heron found in Eurasia. I have observed both species within their native ranges. This bird has all the field marks for Great Blue Heron, not Gray Heron. Species aside – it is an Ardeid.

    Either way – appreciating herons, watching them, and being an advocate for the limiting needs they require to keep common species common is what matters most, in my mind. That is the root of collective appreciation here across all parties; I would think.


    Chris Anderson
    District Wildlife Biologist
    District 12, King County
    WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife – Region 4
    16018 Mill Creek Blvd.
    Mill Creek, WA 98012
    425.775.1311, ext 111


  5. MP, I’d forgotten about my post, but am happy to see the follow on discussion. I hope you appreciate my words “fairly certain” because I knew it was one of our Many GBH’s. As Mr Anderson pointed out, a bird from another continent would pack the Marsh’s board walk like the Swallow-tailed Gull did the Pier a few years back. The day I saw it from the Pier, there was easily $500K in scopes, binocs and camera set up’s pointing at that gull! I met people from NY, CA, ID, North Carolina, Alberta and BC. It was amazing.


  6. On many of my visits to the marsh over the past decade, someone has said to me: “I didn’t know this place existed.” A wildlife area located in the downtown of a city situated in the middle of the Puget Sound urban sprawl is beneficial for both the wildlife and human inhabitants.

    The marsh will be the subject of many issues before the City Council in 2020. I urge everyone to go down for a visit; not just to enjoy the wildlife and scenery, but to raise personal awareness of conditions surrounding its continued existence.


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