Great blue herons become used to humans and provide interesting insight into their daily lives if we watch them carefully.
While at Wildflower Preserve just outside Gasparilla Island I saw a great blue heron catch what appears to be a snake, but is actually a glass lizard, which lacks legs. After playing with it for a while the heron flew across the street to where an adult-sized baby begged for and received a piece of the catch.
The adult swallowed the rest.
Great blue heron feeding a large baby a bit of a glass lizard.
At other times the great blue herons rest from their labors and catch a few rays by assuming what some call the "pterodactyl position." It seems associated with bright sunlight and its exact purpose is unknown. One possible purpose is to decrease parasites in the feathers.
When a bird is over-heating it flutters its gular/throat region.
In any case great blue heron watching is always fun.
William Dunson, Ph.d., professor emeritus of biology at Penn State University, splits time between Southwest Florida and his farm in Galax, Va. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.