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The Daily Bucket–Trigger Warning

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The Great Blue Heron is one of the largest birds in North America, standing 4 feet tall with a six foot wing span.  When the birds evolved from the dinosaurs, the Herons emerged, but herons changed very little over the last few million years.   Their wide wings resemble the extinct Pterodactyl, a winged lizard.

Herons (and cranes and egrets) have extensive mating dances that reveal graceful movements which seem out of place from such a spindly legged-creature.  

But Herons have another display  of balance and speed;  their stalking of prey.  They cantilever like a feathered construction crane to hover over a targeted fish.

I’ve spent hours watching herons stalk fish in my backyard ponds.  I don’t know what happens to the time.  To me, their hunting methods are lyrically enchanting.  To the fish, not so much.  

And perhaps you, gentle reader, would prefer to look away, rather than read on and see how the crouching Heron means that several goldfish  will leave the mortal coil.

 

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The heron’s feet are broad, for stability, but not much good for snatching prey.

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The heron does not spear, but grasps with its long thin bill.

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Leaning forward.  Herons have a special vertebrae in their neck that allows it to coil into the “S” shape.

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Faster than the camera finger can twitch,  the heron struck.  

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The heron stretch.

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The heron never seems to miss a strike. 
What looks like their knee, is really their ankle. Their thighs are hidden under their wings.

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Down the hatch, head first.

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The heron’s throat bulges with its bounty.

I took these pictures from March through October, 2018. 

Herons do migrate, but tend to stay year-round in the Pacific Northwest.  

Thanks for reading The Daily Bucket,

a nature refuge.

We amicably discuss frogs, animals, weather, climate, soil, plants, waters,  and life’s patterns.

 Phenology is how we take earth’s pulse.

We discuss what we see in each Bucket.

We value all observations.  Please comment  about your own natural area, and include photos if possible.  We love photos!

To have the Daily Bucket in your Activity Stream, visit Backyard Science’s profile page and click on Follow, and join to write a Bucket of your own observations.

SPOTLIGHT ON GREEN NEWS & VIEWS” IS POSTED EVERY SATURDAY AT 3:00 PM PACIFIC TIME ON THE DAILY KOS FRONT PAGE. IT'S A GREAT WAY TO CATCH UP ON DIARIES YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED. BE SURE TO RECOMMEND AND COMMENT IN THE DIARY.

Thanks again;

What have you noted in your area or travels? Any stealthy critters in your yard? Please post your observations and general location in your comments. I’ll check back by lunchtime.

/s/ Redwoodman

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