Capturing a Great Blue Heron taking off from the deep section of Charleston Lake in Arkansas was a thrilling experience. The Great Blue Heron, known for its ability to forage in deeper waters and access habitats that are inaccessible to most other heron species, showcases its strength and agility when taking off from deep water.

As the bird spreads its wings, it must work to generate lift to overcome the drag caused by the water. With powerful muscles and a large wing span, the Great Blue Heron is able to take flight, flapping its wings rapidly to build up speed and altitude. Its long legs trailing behind add to the dramatic effect of its ascent, as it rises higher and higher into the sky.

I was able to capture this magnificent bird in action with my Canon EOS R5 camera and RF 800mm F11 IS STM lens. I was sitting in my pickup, with my camera and lens resting on a bean bag draped over the open window. On January 9, 2023, at 10:59 A.M., I set my camera to manual exposure mode, with an aperture of f11, shutter speed of 1/3200, and ISO at 3200 (auto). I made an exposure compensation of -4/3 EV, and the focal length was set at 800 mm.

Here is the same Great Blue Heron lifting off from the Charleston City Lake Dam: Great Blue Heron Lifting Off