It was not too many years ago when the sight of a Great Blue Heron (Ardea berodias) was rare, but these 4 1/2-foot-tall marsh hunters can be found in the quieter corners of Jefferson Township.

Easily spooked into taking flight, these yellowed eyed stoic birds avoid human contact. In more accommodating habitats this large heron would be found this time of year in a breeding colony with many of his relatives. Jefferson's herons are more solitary and are spread to four areas within the township.

These photos spotlight the Lake Shawnee heron who flies from there to the shallows of Lake Hopatcong to find a meal and stay out of the lime light.

Photos and Story by Anthony Lawson

More Photos:

Click or tap photos to enlarge.

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Anthony Lawson is a New Jersey Press Association multiple award-winning photographer. He has been actively capturing the spirit of Jefferson Township for over a decade; first in the “AIM Jefferson” and now in “The Jefferson Chronicle”. A 25 year resident of the township, he has a four-decade long photography career which included event photography, landscape art, and most recently photo journalism.