Morning Blue’s Full Moon ~Testing a Theory!

Call me loony, but the other night I saw a full moon and thought to myself, maybe the birding will be better in the morning because of it.  There are all kinds of theories as to how the moon’s cycles affect both people and animals.  I decided to test my theory about the effect of a full moon on birds the next morning!

Would I see anything unusual?  Would I come home disappointed or excited?

So, early the next morning I set out down to the river with my camera fully charged.  It was bitter cold for Williamsburg, but the sun was coming up over the treetops and it was casting a warm morning light over the river.  The first thing I noticed as I walked toward the water was a full moon against the blue sky!  The second thing I noticed was a beautiful Great Blue Heron standing still in perfectly calm water.  Reflections were everywhere!

The moon was mirrored in the water!  The Blue was standing between two Cypress trees and I was seeing double, the reflections were so strong.  I always take a picture or two from a distance because many times as I approach Blue Herons they will take off and fly away.  This time was different.  A lunar spell must have been cast over this Blue Heron because he couldn’t have cared less that I was there.  He was soaking in both the warmth of the sun and drawing in the moon’s energy.

Between the Cypress Trees photo by William R. Beebe

Between the Cypress Trees photo by William R. Beebe

As if to prove my theory, the Great Blue turned and walked right over to the reflection of the moon in the water.  He stood on one side of it and then on the other, as if to say, “Are you getting this?” 

Moon Reflection photo by William R. Beebe

Moon Reflection photo by William R. Beebe

I must have followed him up and down the river for well over an hour.  He waded from one pair of Cypress trees to another smaller pair of Cypress trees just upriver.   We walked parallel to each other at a nominal distance apart for extended periods of time.  All the while, my footsteps were crunching frozen long grass and making all kinds of noise.  He remained unaffected, seemingly transfixed by the moon.

Parallel Reflections photo by William R. Beebe

Parallel Reflections photo by William R. Beebe

There are also theories out there that the energy of a full moon will cause birds to fly in circles.  Although this particular Heron did not fly in a circle, he did do one giant loop wading around both pairs of Cypress trees.  

Circling Back photo by William R. Beebe

Circling Back photo by William R. Beebe

I felt compelled to share some of my photographs with you from this particular outing.  I hope you find them interesting and artistic in nature.  

Contemplating photo by William R. Beebe

Contemplating photo by William R. Beebe

The Strike photo by William R. Beebe

The Strike photo by William R. Beebe

The Curl photo by William R. Beebe

The Curl photo by William R. Beebe

Even though it was only one experience, I further convinced myself that the full moon might affect bird activity.  I have to be careful, though, not to conclude my theory is correct based on one single outing!  

In the end, like the moon, the Great Blue Heron decided to move along.  He left me with a beautiful flyby!

The Flyby photo by William R. Beebe

The Flyby photo by William R. Beebe

I would love to hear from you birders out there as to whether there is any truth to my theory.   I know a few people who seem to be affected by a full moon, so it stands to reason that birds might be too.  Am I wrong or just loony????  ☺

Please check back soon to see what I’m up to in the painting department.  Thanks for following my journal, my art, and my photography!


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next? Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe