Mission: To promote the appreciation of wildlife and increase harmony between humanity and nature.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Green Heron Yoga

It is easy to spend time on Foster Island or on Union Bay and never see a Green Heron. The Green Heron is the smaller, more reclusive cousin of Seattle's favorite bird the Great Blue Heron. When seen the Green Heron (GH) is often just a flash of movement among the cattails or two grey wings disappearing in the distance.

Occasionally, if one is very quiet, a GH may be seen for a few moments enjoying the Seattle sun.

On very rare occasions one may be invited to watch the performance of Green Heron Yoga. The first pose is by far the most common.

The Frog Finder:
While fairly intense this pose is just a warm up for what is to follow.

The Love Bird:

The Upturned Boat:

The Headless Horseman:

The Fred Astaire:

The Twisting Pretzel:

The Rockstar Rooster:
No hair gel was involved in the making of this photo.

The Praying Mantis:

The Choking Frog:

The Yawning Crow:

The Downward Looking Dog:

The Bashful Crane:

The Angry Goose:

The Rising Cobra:

The One Legged Crane:

The Heavy Load:

The Eagle Landing:

The Guiding Monkey:
As if to say, "When you get to Beaver Lodge Sanctuary head south to see the Eagle's nest."

Please do not attempt Green Heron Yoga at home. Only trained professionals can hold these poses without serious bodily damage.

Seriously, being able to share the peace, quiet and warmth of the early morning sun with such a beautiful creature is the most invigorating form of meditation possible. Hopefully, some of that inner peace and joy came through to you while viewing these photos.


PS: I would love to hear which pose is your favorite. If you would please leave your thoughts in the comments area below so everyone can read them. Thank you!


  1. Hi Larry,
    My favorite pose is the Rockstar Rooster! And I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoy your pictures and commentary about our resident neighborhood birds. I am a constant jogger through all the zones you visit, but I know absolutely NOTHING about birds, so I really enjoy reading your posts to feel a little more connected to them. Thanks!

  2. Thank you! Kelly. If you happen to pass me when you are out please say, Hi. I'll be the one with a camera, a backpack and a ginger-colored dog, surprisingly named, "Ginger".

  3. Well, it's hard to pick a favorite, but the ones that made me laugh the most were the Headless Horseman and the Angry Goose. The Fred Astair was pretty good too... Glad you shared these!

    1. Thank you. What was really funny was after 20 to 30 minutes the heron simply turned and disappeared into the cattails. It actually looked like he was tired from all the exercise and decided he needed a nap.

  4. Wow, what a series. I confess I've never seen a Green Heron. I don't hang out in the right places.

    My favorite is the Choking Frog, a variation on the Rockstar Rooster that Kelly (above) singled out. This bird sure gives you the full range of poses. Nice work.

    1. Thank you, Dan. All my previous sightings of Green Herons were measured in seconds not minutes. It is still a mystery to me why this bird was comfortable with me so close by. I was as still as possible. I had the sun at my back and I painter by kayak brown so it would look like a log, but I really think I was just lucky.

  5. This was so hilarious and that Green Heron is magnificent. I like the Rockstar Rooster, Choking Frog and Fred Astaire but the whole set is delightful. It must have been a magical half and hour.


    1. Thank you! It was truly a magical experience. It took place maybe 400 feet south of 520. It amazes me sometimes think of 50,000 people a day passing through Union Bay with it's incredible diversity of bird life. To safely drive a vehicle at 60 mph ones perception has to be mostly fixed on the road ahead and sadly we miss most of the magic. I think that may be why the eagles on the light poles are so popular, they break through the driver's tunnel of perception with a magical moment.

  6. What a wonderful series - Brilliant! I'd have to say the Choking Frog is my fave - with the wild eye and the 'hair thing' goin' on in addition to the complex pose. I assume you, as the fortunate photographer, were simultaneously doing the "I'm a Lucky Dog" pose.
    So funny, and a wonderful insight into preening/stretching we seldom see. Still hunting for a Green Heron over here on the Kitsap Peninsula...

    1. Just one of those special opportunities, perfect light, perfect bird and perfect poses. It is hard to mess up when you get that lucky.
      Good luck in your Green Heron Hunting!