Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron perches on the railing of the dock at Lake Mendota, Aug. 27. Great Blue Herons are common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North America. In August, most heron young have left their nests and are feeding on their own. A few Great Blue Herons may linger in northern Illinois during winter as long as they can find open water with fish. (Photo contributed)