All Photos posted on this blog unless otherwise noted were taken by me with my Canon Rebel XTI using a 300 mm zoom lens

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Dining

I have often seen Great Blue Herons sitting in the fields west of the main dike at Farmington Bay during the winter, all crouched down and looking very cold. Last Friday while I was out there taking pictures I watched them in action and found the real reason they are huddled out in those fields. I saw one in his ready to pounce stance so I stopped and watched, he stood motionless for a long time then with lightening speed he struck and came up with a very chubby and delicious looking Vole. Birds survive because they learn to adapt to their environment. While watching I took pictures of the whole event and here are a few.

Now that the ponds are all frozen over the Blue Herons are hunting with the Harriers, Kestrels and Red-tails but with their own unique and deadly method.


john said...

Steve, I have never heard of this activity in herons. Have you? Also, have you contacted anyone official, like the AOU, of ABA? This may be a previously unknown behavior.

Zak Johnson said...

Vole hunting by herons is pretty common at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge in SW Washington State. We've seen it firsthand there a couple of times but it never gets old to watch. When there is water available, the herons will take the stabbed but still wriggling voles and wash them off a bit in a puddle or canal before tossing them down the hatch. Thanks for sharing.