Pittsburgh Wildlife: Photograph Beautiful Herons In North Park

Photographing Beautiful Herons In Pittsburgh's North Park

If you're looking for the perfect spot to photograph Pittsburgh Wildlife, be sure to visit North Park where you can photograph beautiful herons. These huge and stunningly beautiful birds are around all year long.

Pittsburgh Nature Photography

Pittsburgh's North Park is generally a great place to do nature and wildlife photography. This is especially true if you're a bird photographer. Along with Great Blue Herons you'll find Green Herons and a host of other birds including some resident Bald Eagles.

Where to Photograph Herons In North Park

Gold Star Pavilion

If you're looking for great spots to photograph herons in North Park then my advice is to check the area around the kayak launch near the Gold Star shelter and playground. This is right along Lake View Drive close to The Point which is where the lake bends. Lake View is a one-way road, keep that in mind if you're a first time visitor. The area between the kayak launch and the parking lot is very shallow so it's a great fishing spot for the birds.

The Boathouse At North Park

Beautiful Heron In Pittsburgh's North Park Besides Gold Star the area near the Boathouse at North Park is another place to see Great Blue Herons. I've not seen Green Herons here but you can often find the Blue Herons hanging out near the damn or even upstream in Pine Creek before it turns into the lake.

Another great spot to find them in on the snags and downed trees behind the refreshment stand just across from the Boathouse. If you walk between the two you might find one sitting in just the right spot to get some incredible photos.

Marshall Lake

In addition to North Park Lake, Marshall Lake, just upstream is another frequent location to find the herons. That said, it's my least favorite for herons as they tend to stick to the shallows far away from Marshall Island. Therefore, they're hard to get great photos of. However, you can often get photos of them in flight here if you're patient. As a result, if those are the shots you're looking for then give it a go.

Where NOT to Photograph Blue Herons In North Park

The above are all great places to photograph Blue Herons. That said, there is one area you should never try to photograph them in North Park. I'm honestly a bit hesitant to post this because I worry that mentioning it will lead people there. That said, I'm sharing this in the hopes that, if you're reading this, you will avoid the area and not accidentally visit their rookery.

Avoid Their Rookery

The Great Blue Herons have built a rookery opposite of The Point near the intersection of Babcock and Ingomar Roads. Please, do NOT try to photograph there. If you do you risk them abandoning this area as a nesting site.

They've clearly chosen it as an ideal location to keep their eggs and hatchlings safe from predators. If they're disturbed and they leave the site they may not find as ideal conditions leading to a decline in their numbers. Additionally, they may want to defend the site from you. In that case you risk injuring yourself and them. Also, the area is likely a gathering spot for predators like snakes which will try to eat their eggs making it even more dangerous for you.

Other Beautiful Birds and Wildlife to Photograph in Pittsburgh's North Park

As I already mentioned there's a lot of other beautiful birds and wildlife to photograph in North Park. This includes the Bald Eagles which you can often see around the skating rink or near Marshall Lake. They do visit other areas including Gold Star and even the swimming pool. Check out the Facebook Group, North Park Bald Eagles Facebook Group to see photos of them and locations where they've been spotted.

All of the spots listed above are great locations to see tons of small song birds as well as the occasional Osprey in the warmer months. My favorite spot will always be near Gold Star as the thicket there seems to attract a lot of great subjects. That includes blue birds, and a variety of woodpeckers. Additionally, this is the spot you're most likely see the green herons.

More About Beautiful Nature Photography In Pittsburgh

To learn more about beautiful nature photography in Pittsburgh sign up for my mailing list. When you sign up you'll receive my monthly newsletter full of great nature photography and tips and information about all sorts of other types of photography. Contact me with any questions or comment below. Be sure to visit my blog for more great articles.

February 1, 2023 | Don Orkoskey
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