A Young Great Blue’s Meal
I had been watching one of the Great Blue Herons at our local wetland preserves a few weeks ago; she only had one baby, which is a bit unusual for the species. I watched as she built her nest high in the cypress trees, then dutifully guarded it, alone…. There was no male in sight, which is likewise unusual. Usually both the male and female remain at the nest, and hunt for the young. There aren’t as many human visitors at these particular wetlands, due to the lack of active rookeries — which suits me just fine; the baby alligators, birds, butterflies, marsh rabbits (or swamp bunnies as I’m fond to call them), and if I’m lucky, bobcats, keep me company.
I always spied this Great Blue hunting in the same area — a swath of dry land near a small swamp frequented by the bobcats. Visitors would stroll right by her, she blended so perfectly with the landscape. This choice of hunting grounds would explain her meal below — Yummers! It’s no surprise that these birds have been known to choke to death while trying to swallow meals that are too large for them.