Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I had never seen a Great Blue Heron land out in open water before this day. Then, to my amazement, I saw four on this single day attempt to catch fish from flight. Three out of four were successful. A 75% success rate is pretty good in anyones book. At the time, I didn't even think a Great Blue Heron could float, let alone swim. But they can do both well enough to get by. How do you like the way it is using it's neck like a table? Finally, notice how it caught the fish. It speared it through and through! Imagine taking a stick in the shape of it's beak and stabbing this fish right through in open water like a spear fisherman. How much force do you think it would take? And the bird did that BEFORE it landed on the water! I find it hard to believe that a bird this big could even sneak up on a fish in the first place. They may be ungainly and rather ugly, but they do have a rather unique and admirable skill set.
Once they are down, how does a bird this big get back up into the air? I have seen it numerous times, but it still floors me to see them do it. This is something a bald eagle cannot do. If an eagle accidentally lands in water, it cannot get airborne again and has to either swim to shore or drown.