Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
The Feathered Friends Festival at Gilbert Water Ranch had plenty of activities for kids, and adults. The Desert Rivers Audubon was there offering guided bird walks, and had a great selection of guide books for sale. Kids really had it made here - where else on earth could you go hunting for creepy crawly bugs, put paint all over your face, play with pinecones and peanut butter, dig in the dirt looking for dinosaur bones, and pick apart owl poop! Life doesn't get much better than that.
I told myself I wouldn't wander off and explore the many trails, but I couldn't resist - the weather was perfect, sunny, breezy, 75 degrees, and the wildflowers were in full bloom. Before I knew it I had spent 3 hours wandering the riparian preserve watching hummingbirds, warblers, herons, ducks, shorebirds, flycatchers, and even a Loggerhead Shrike!