Fri Mar 2023

Great Blue Fishing

Anyone who has watched a Great Blue Heron stand for hours waiting for a fish to swim by, knows it must “go to bed hungry” many nights. The great bird’s batting average is never very good.

So, I regard it as a privilege, on rare occasions, when I happen to witness a catch. It’s even rarer when I can record it with my camera.

In the last frame, the great bird is headed for the nearest dry land, where it will reposition the fish in its bill, and then swallow it whole. Why the extra step? My guess is that by climbing up on land, it has less chance of losing the fish if it drops while trying to swallow it.

The fish in question is probably a largemouth bass or a catfish, for that’s mostly what’s in the pond now. The small bluegills, a type of sunfish, all but disappeared in a mysterious die-off last March.

The photos were taken on September 11, 2012; the time is shown under each.