Photographing the Great Blue Heron Rookery at Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Photographing Great Blue Herons at a rookery provides many good photo opportunities. Photographs can be taken of the Great Blue Herons in flight, building their nests, courting, caring for their young, and squabbling with each other.
The Herons begin arriving at the Bath Road Great Blue Heron Rookery in late February and Early March. The Great Blue Herons nest in a grove of large Sycamore Trees. The Cuyahoga River is also near by for the birds to fish.
Heron Rookery Location
The rookery is located on West Bath Road between Riverview Road and Akron Peninsula Road. The GPS coordinates for the Great Blue Heron Rookery are 41.162954,-81.571019. There is a wide pull off on the left hand side of the road for parking. The best location is across the street between the guard rail and the chain link fence.
The lighting can be difficult at the rookery. The only views of the heron rookery are from the north so the birds will be side lit and may be in the shadows. With a little observation and practice, you can find the right spots to photograph the birds depending on the time of day. I prefer the late afternoon to photograph herons at the rookery.
The herons will be constantly flying back and forth carrying sticks for their nests in their mouths. So there will be plenty of opportunities for birds in flight photos. Another good photo is to capture the male and female Great Blue Herons exchanging the sticks for the nest. The female heron seems to have the final say on the placement of the stick. It is also better to photograph the herons in March before the leaves come out on the trees.
A longer telephoto such as a 500mm is beneficial to photograph the herons at the rookery and get closer shots of the birds in the nests. However, there are plenty of flyovers by the herons where a shorter telephoto such as a 300mm would work.
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Lovely shots from the rookery. Nice pose on the incomming Herons with the small branches.
Thank You Erik!
Recently purchased a new Canon Powershot SX50 HS and managed to get a couple of good heron pics at the Bath Road heronry today. Enjoy!
Nice shots. Thanks for posting.