Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Event Starts to Unfold

After waiting for what seemed an eternity,
the Great Blue Heron (GBH) finally perked up as it spotted the shad flopping around in the water.  True to form, it flew out to investigate and, I thought perhaps, drop down and catch the fish.

Heron are basically ungainly looking.  When they try to hover over a spot or fly slow enough to inspect something more closely, however, they become much more graceful in appearance.  That was what I was hoping would happen and it did.   He made a slow pass over the fish (see arrow), gracefully circled around and slowly flew back in the other direction without trying to capture it.  That was okay with me.  I had captured several postures and wing positions that aren’t normally seen. 

An eagle has no qualms about eating a dying fish.  A vulture doesn’t either - but they have to wait for one to wash up on shore since they cannot swim.  An osprey or a GBH, on the other hand, won’t take a dying fish.  All the times I have witnessed either species “inspect” a dying fish, they have flown away without taking it. 

The arrow marks the spot where the fish is floating on the surface.  You can see where the GBH had been dragging it's feet to slow it's flight down enough to get a better look.

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