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Great snow heron

Great blue heron over the Charles River

A great blue heron took flight over the Charles River near Millennium Park this morning, and Mary Ellen was there to watch it.

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I lived along a wetland that had a heron rookery and our landlords called them " The Pterodactyls". Up close they look very ... jurassic.

They are pretty ungainly on takeoff and would come low overhead as they worked to gain altitude and sounded like bedsheets flapping in a vigorous wind.

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I noticed the same on Sunday. A friend and I walked the Emerald Necklace from the Fenway Center to Jamaica Pond. When we were along the Muddy River near Longwood, we saw one make an almost humorously clumsy take-off, which immediately became like a sail in the wind as it silently glided by us (closely followed by its mate, whose launch we missed).

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I used to work at a building located next to a wetland in Bedford. One of my coworkers was there alone one Saturday, and there was a Great Egret - an all-white heron almost as big as the Great Blue - standing out in the marsh. It took off just as a Stealth Fighter, in town for some kind of flyover, passed overhead on its way into Hanscom. He said it was like seeing a pure white prehistoric creature and its pure black robot-cousin from the future juxtaposed.

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Great photo. Really appreciate Mary Ellen’s work.

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