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April 2022

Vol. 50, No. 2

Field Notes: Great Blue Walkabout

Jeffrey Boone Miller

What the heck? On July 6, 2021, as I was driving slowly toward the back exit of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I was flabbergasted when a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) flew just a foot or two over the hood of my car. The bird landed 20 feet away and began walking on the grass among the cemetery’s headstones. In decades of birding, I had never seen a Great Blue walking anywhere other than along the edges of ponds and marshes, but we were at least 500 feet from Willow Pond, the nearest body of water. What, I thought, is that bird doing? I resolved to see if could find out.

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