Part “Where’s Waldo” and part nature book, “How Many Herons?” is a counting book meant to introduce students to numbers and number words (one through nineteen) through photographs of a great blue heron rookery in British Columbia, Canada. An iPad/Mac friendly interactive version is available for free via iTunes. A version is also available for your Kindle.
What type of herons are these?
The birds in the photos are great blue herons (Ardea herodias).
How did you find so many?!
Great blue herons nest together in rookeries and I was fortunate to come across this rookery during breeding season. (It was largely a lucky accident that happened while delivering my daughter to the ferry going to Victoria, BC.) Reportedly it is the largest great blue heron rookery in the Canada; right here in the suburbs of Vancouver!
Where is the rookery?
The herons nest in the trees near the land end of the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal causeway with late spring being the best time of year to see the most birds.
What is all the white stuff in the photos?
This book explains.
Is there a paper version of the book available?
Not at this time. Truth be known, the photos in this edition were taken simply because I think herons are cool. The idea for the book came later, so the resolution of my images is not really good enough for a print book. However, if there is enough interest in this proof-of-concept eBook, I’ll go back next spring, better prepared, with the equipment needed to get clearer shots for a large format hardback picture book.
What camera set up did you use?
My trusty “take it with me everywhere” camera was a Pentax K-30 and in this case, I had my Tamron 70-300mm lens with me. All the shots were taken hand-held. I’d love to do this project again with my new Pentax K-3 or a Canon 7D Mark II with a longer lens and tripod.
- Looking over the image, there are other hidden items. (Did you spot the ladder?)
- Some of the original images started with more herons than in the book! I used Photoshop to remove the hardest to see legs, beaks, and similar to keep things clean and to make sure that the correct number of birds were on the page.