Sunday, August 14, 2011

What Do They Know?

Let me preface today's entry by saying the quality of a lot of the photos I post here are marginal at best.  Many are taken from a long distance (like the one above).  Despite that, I share them because of the often fascinating behavior I see while I am filming.  So, please bear that in mind.

The other day while I was filming on the Patuxent, I was aware of a great blue heron on the end of a dock up river and an osprey sitting on a device used to swing loads from the dock onto a boat.  At one point, the great blue heron began to vocalize in single hoarse squawks every fifteen seconds or so.  Then he proceeded to walk from the end of the dock to a point underneath the spot where the osprey was sitting and appeared to engage it in conversation.

Bird behavior can be highly interesting as you try to determine what you are witnessing.  Are these two very different species able to communicate at some level, if not by voice perhaps by body language?  I'm pretty sure behavioral scientists would say no.

After pausing for a few moments, the heron continued walking past the osprey and, in the last frame I took, the osprey is watching after the heron as if it was thinking, "I wonder what that was all about."

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