There’s just one problem with my having seen a grey heron a few weeks back. Grey herons aren’t indigenous to North America. What I took for a grey heron was probably a great blue heron in its juvenile stage.
It’s hard to imagine that the slender, pale-grey bird I’ve been seeing will turn into a great blue heron, which has bronze and charcoal plumage, hunched shoulders, and a powerful neck.
Yet the light-grey bird is morphing before my eyes. It’s beginning to look less and less like the photograph of a grey heron that I found online. As its beak turns dark and it loses its white feathers, it’s showing a strong kinship with the other great blue herons.