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The Great Blue Heron

Areda herodias


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Great capture :D

Damn, your photos make me wanna go back to Belize and visit :D

Re: Great capture :D

Whats keeping you?

The little lagoon in back of the dive shop is always full of interesting things. I took this yesterday afternoon. Great Blue Heron are all over the planet. Some migrate and have gone North for the summer. This one has stayed. Why? I have a theory the competition goes North for the season and the mature dominant don't have to move.
I wrote an article on migration a few years ago . I'll go look for it.

Found it
‘Birds don’t fly South for the Winter’
It’s September, and from now until late April Bubba and I will be enjoying an unusual variety of migratory Avifauna visiting Ambergris Caye and its Bacalar Chico Reserve. The northern part of the planet has begun to lean away from the sun. Invisible plotable lines of temperature gradients called ‘isotherms’ move further south on the weather maps and all life on earth pays them heed.

The Bacalar Chico Reserve on the north end of Ambergris is a 60 square mile terrestrial reserve and serves as a refuge for migratory birds. About 225 species of long distance migrants occur in Mexico and Northern Central America. Observers have long theorized that migrants use mountain ranges, rivers, and coastlines for guidance. Scientific research suggests that some birds may also set their courses by the sun, by the patterns of stars, even by the lines of force in the Earth’s magnetic field, perhaps in combination with gravity. Scientists don’t know exactly how the migrating birds find their way over long distances, but they are discovering that birds tune into an astonishing variety of sensory cues that may be used for navigation.

Bubba believes Birds use specific migratory paths that consist of rivers, lakes, and various other food sources like a dotted line of rest stops. These paths are called flyways. The Atlantic flyway leads migratory birds from as far north as Greenland down Florida’s eastern coast across the Caribbean into Cuba, Haiti, and Dominica.

The Mississippi flyway leads birds from Alaska and middle Canada down the Mississippi River Valley to the Gulf of Mexico where it divides, leading some to Cuba and some to the Yucatan.

It is the Central and Pacific flyways that lead the majority of migratory birds to Ambergris Caye. The bottleneck effect of the flyways narrowing at the base of the Yucatan cause a concentration of migratory Avifauna looking for shelter, food, and water. The Bacalar Chico Reserve seems to be a logical place to stop for this, and creates a birdwatching spot second to none.

I said to my resident expert, “Birds in the North use this cooling as a signal to begin their annual migration southward. Bubba gave me a look that made me feel I had said something wrong. With a little bit of an annoyed tone he said, “birds don’t fly south for the winter, Canadians do. The birds fly North for the summer and I bet you think that’s the same thing!”
“Yes, and the way I look at it that’s called ‘the same difference.”
Bubba sighed and said,” If you look at this properly, you’ll discover something you didn’t know about migration. Birds we see in Belize, (Neotropicals) have been moving north slowly each season and retreating a little less south since the end of the ice age.

The American continent was very different during this frozen era. Most living things where compacted into areas near the equator.
The ancestors of neotropical migrants originated in Amazonia (an area believed to be 15 million years old, known today as Brazil). Areas north of this were not at that time in the earth’s history temperate enough to reside in. Amazionia was then and today the greatest expression of life on the planet. One third of the world's birds still live there. As the ice age ended, areas to the north of Amazonia were habitable during summer months and provided refuge from competition for food and shelter in this over-populated area. But in winter months migrants were forced to retreat. Each year as the ice receded, more northern territory became available as refuge during summer months and migration distances increased. As some found the decreasing winter months tolerable they became residents in places like Belize. Canadians go home in spring and birds migrate north. Does that seem like a ‘same difference’ still? I said you where going to learn something new.”
San Pedro tour operators are now offering day trips into the Bacalar Chico area September also marks the beginning of the slow season for tourism this might be just the time for Bubba and I to explore the Island we are living on.

Edited at 2008-07-04 03:57 pm (UTC)

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I talk to my dog a lot :-)
some say its crazy , but he makes a lot of sense doesn't he.

Edited at 2008-07-04 04:40 pm (UTC)

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Thankyouthankyou :-)
I'm having fun

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Thank You
Are they in the UK as well?

hi there bubba.. hope you are well..

Hea Jeetles, Yes its good and getting better my friend.

this is really beautiful!

Isn't digital cool. I don't think i would do photography if we still had to deal with film.

Lovely. They have such great curvy necks.

Its a special purpose neck for spear fishing.

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