Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lunch Time

Great Blue Herons are rather stately birds and I enjoy photographing them. Most people probably don't think of them in the same context as eagles and hawks, but herons are predators...birds of prey. They're known for their fish catching prowess, but they'll eat just about anything they can swallow. That includes not only fish, but mice, voles, rats, other small mammals, snakes, ducklings, and other small birds. Sometimes the prey is so large it can take twenty minutes or more to get it down. They survive by hunting and that one objective makes them very proficient predators. In some instances, they are considered pests because they can eradicate the fish from small farm and private ponds. After watching them for many hours, I've come to respect their methodical hunting ability.











21 comments:

Antonio Puigg said...

Bonitas fotografias de esta Garza real pescando y alimentandose.Un saludo

Carole M. said...

fabulous photos; I favour #3 today! You get some of the greatest water-bird snaps

darlin said...

Wow, you've snapped some stunning photos here. I love the clarity and color, not so much the mouse or rat or whatever that one is eating though! lol

Saun said...

Wow, those are some great shots. Learned something today I thought they just ate fish. Thanks for the birthday wish.

Sue H said...

Awesome action pictures!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

A guy's gotta eat! They are amazing hunters! Beautiful photographs, Brian. :)

Wanda..plain~N~simple said...

Like Saun, I thought they only ate fish and was surprised to see the mouse. I would love to watch them tackle a mouse or snake!

Shaun_ShutterBug said...

I bet he got indigestion after that last fish. Its huge.
Great capture, the herons are growing on me the more i see them.
Shaun

Mary said...

wow...these are great! We just stumbled on a heron rookery while in Florida and were thrilled to get some photos. I like to see them catching fish like in your photos. Lovely!

TexWisGirl said...

i appreciate their adaptability to whatever's available - fish, frog, fur...

Alan Pavey said...

Certainly a very impressive haul, great shots again.

Tammy said...

Very informative post Brian! Outstanding photos as well! I love the shot of the GHB with the mouse,I've never seen that!

Linda said...

Wow! I have taken photos of the herons before - love them - and have some really good ones. However, I have NEVER been fortunate enough to capture a shot of them with food! What wonderful shots! And, I enjoyed the info you provided. Thanks.

Debbie said...

oooohhhh awesome captures, these are amazing!! i love the herons, i have had a few, lucky encounters!!

texwisgirls drawing of your heron is beautiful, i would be honored to share one of my pictures with her!!

barbara l. hale said...

Great pics! You see herons standing around so much just doing nothing that they don't seem like birds of prey, but you are right. Never knew they would go after a mouse though. I should invite one in next winter when they mice come into our house.

Sall's Country Life said...

I can understand how they can kill anything with that sharp beak, but how in the heck do they get those large kills down that skinny neck? I bet it is very entertaining to watch!

Dina said...

Great catch. He seemed to not mind you watching him eat all that food.

Joe said...

That shot of the mouse or vole has to be a rare shot.

Deb said...

awesome shots Brian...not appetizing..but awesome..

Liz said...

Oh wow!! Awesome Heron shots. I would love to get that close (or zoom that close). I haven't encountered any herons yet.

DWQ said...

Red meat too...nice :)