BLACK HILLS, YAVAPAI COUNTY, ARIZONA, AMERICA
GREAT BLUE HERON, ARDEA HERODIAS

A great blue heron sits on top a rock in Arizona's Black Hills mountain range.

Seemingly out of place in a desert environment the great blue heron is very adaptable and ranges all over North and Central America as well as the West Indies and the Galapagos. Never far from water this great blue heron may be on its way to the Verde River, one of Arizona's largest perennial river, bordering the Black Hills in the Southeast.

The nicest images are always the ones you stumble onto unexpectantely, this was one of those. I was driving towards Phoenix thinking more about which motel to choose for the night when I noticed this largest of herons in North America land very far away on a rock. The sun was setting and frontal light combined with a dusty haze turned the colors into an amazing greenish-yellow. I needed a 600mm telelens to bring the bird somewhat closer which of course also pulled together the different layers of mountain ridges.

I am rather proud of this image, it is unusual in the sense that the heron just seems out of place enough to make this exclusive and an untypical North America nature photograph.

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