Canon 300D, handheld.
Sigma 135-400 at 320mm
ISO 400
f5.6 at 1/2000 second
But they're so cool!
great blue heron treetop

I have so many images of Great Blue herons that I've memorized the scientific name (Ardea herodias,) but they're such interesting looking birds that they're hard to resist when the opportunity arises. Perched distinctively in a treetop against a lightly clouded sky as the sun rises is, of course, one of those opportunities. My subject was mellow enough about my presence below to allow me several shooting positions to frame his poses against the sky, and I waited out the drifting clouds to get the right background color — grey is so boring, you know?

In Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, North Carolina, numerous species of bird are habituated to close human approach, so it's a little like an aviary or zoo. This heron actually came down to the pond's edge later on (after I got the next image in the gallery) to shamelessly pose even more, rendering the species count in my stock images that much further off balance.