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September 27, 2014 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Fishing – Heron Style

I barely noticed a Great Blue Heron standing at the edge of the pond. They can remain still as a statue while waiting patiently for dinner to swim past. When I saw the bird with his mouth open, I stopped and waited to see if he was going to grab a fish or other small amphibian.

Preparing to stike

Great Blue Heron

This is a young, juvenile heron. The black and white striping on the throat and breast, two-toned dark bill and solid dark crown distinguish it from the adult herons with their black and white striped crown and yellow bill.

Caught a small fish

Great Blue Heron

Herons will eat pretty much anything within striking distance, often impaling the prey on their sharp bill. Fish, reptiles, insects and even small mammals or birds are part of their diet.

Shaking the fish

Great Blue Heron

After spearing the fish with his beak, he turned around and began shaking it. This breaks the sharp spines and makes it easier to swallow.

A drink of water

Great Blue Heron

After a few minutes of shaking the fish, he gulped it down whole, followed by a drink of water.

 


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos.

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12 Comments

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  1. laurelrainsnow / Sep 27 2014 4:50 am

    Gorgeous bird! Thanks for sharing its elegant activities….here’s MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

    Like

  2. BermudaOnion / Sep 27 2014 8:12 am

    Wow! There are herons in the ponds in our neighborhood but I’ve never seen one catch a fish.

    Like

  3. Louise / Sep 27 2014 8:36 am

    I love watching herons at work. Your heron looks quite similar to the ones in Europe, but I’m not sure if they’re the same.

    Like

  4. jmcguin7 / Sep 27 2014 9:13 am

    We don’t see many herons where we live so I really like these photos.

    Like

  5. Arti / Sep 27 2014 9:38 am

    I’ve seen blue herons but only from afar, far from the bird, and far from home, not in my neck of the woods. It’s wonderful that you can get so near and study its every move during chow time. 🙂

    Like

  6. Booketta / Sep 27 2014 9:54 am

    Great photos. I didn’t see our heron toady on my walk but often he is there.

    Like

  7. Suko / Sep 27 2014 12:49 pm

    Very lovely Heron photos, Leslie. I see Herons once in a while (at the park) here.

    Like

  8. nrlymrtl / Sep 27 2014 7:47 pm

    Great pics! We have herons that eat frogs and fish from our pond. The ducks and geese have learned to give them a wide berth.

    Like

  9. susanmillerlindquist / Sep 28 2014 8:11 am

    Well, THAT technique makes short order of dinner! Great captures!

    Like

  10. Mary / Sep 28 2014 3:39 pm

    What great timing to be there when he caught his dinner! I see them around the river near my house occasionally. Great pics, Leslie.

    Like

  11. Sharon Taylor / Sep 28 2014 9:28 pm

    Great shots and timing too. Thanks for sharing, have a great week.
    Sharon @ Sharon’s Book Nook!

    Like

  12. Beth F / Sep 29 2014 6:55 am

    I love blue herons –they are so amazing to watch. Great captures.

    Like

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