Walk in Avondale Park: a Great Blue Heron Takes Flight

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog, Avondale Park, Birmingham, Alabama, blue heron

A great blue heron is a fairly common sight at Avondale Park, a 40-acre public park in Birmingham, Alabama.

There are tasty little fish for a heron to eat in the spring water-fed pond. A small island at the pond’s center provides a human-free respite in this urban park. The natural spring has attracted locals and travelers to the area since pre-Civil War days (and Native Americans long before that).

Birmingham, Alabama, Avondale Park
Vintage postcard showing Avondale Park c. 1911 via Bhamwiki

In the 1930s, the city added a stone amphitheater designed by landscape architect Rubee Pearse. The spring flows from the depths of a cave, but unfortunately for any spelunkers out there, the city’s 1930s improvements included blocking the cave entrance. In 2012, the park installed baseball diamonds and restrooms along with other renovations. 

After a recent lunch at Avondale’s Taco Morro Loco (so good!), a friend and I took a stroll around the pond. There were lots of ducks and one solitary blue heron. I approached him slowly, snapping photos with each step. Then he took off.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog, Avondale Park, Birmingham, Alabama, blue heron

Check out the water trail as he lifts himself from the water.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog, Avondale Park, Birmingham, Alabama, blue heronJust one more big lift…

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog, Avondale Park, Birmingham, Alabama, blue heron

And then he sails. How beautiful nature is.