Herons - Eating Like A Bird

January 01, 2021  •  Leave a Comment


Herons and Egrets belong to the same family (Ardiedae). These wading birds are common to many of us because they’ve become pretty tolerant of humans. Even in populated areas that have good wetland, pond or lake habitats it’s not unusual to see a great blue heron standing quietly looking for a catch. For wildlife and bird photographers, herons and egrets can be such common sightings that we begin to take them for granted and move on to other more “exciting” things.  Though when we do that, we can miss the most exciting and educational moments when they make a catch. In this series of Eating Like a Bird, I share photographs of a Great Blue Heron with a large snake catch, a Green Heron –which aren’t as easy to see in the wild – with a crayfish, and an Egret with a bullfrog. These are exciting events to witness and capture.


Herons and Egrets are very skilled and powerful hunters that depend on healthy wetland and water habitat for their survival.  The Green Heron is one of the world’s few tool-using bird species. It often creates fishing lures with bread crusts, insects, and feathers, dropping them on the surface of the water to entice small fish. Great Blue Herons also forage in grasslands and agricultural fields. Great Blues may eat small mammals such as rabbits and birds including ducklings. Some of the continuing risks herons face include disappearing habitat due to human development and expansion, and injuries or death due to carelessly discarded fishing line.  One of the things I’ve learned from watching herons is that patience and work pays off. Often, these birds stand and watch for hours and then it seems, out of nowhere, they pull up a frog, a fish, or another amazing catch.


Read more about this blog here: https://www.copperrangellc.com/blog/2020/12/eating-like-a-bird.


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