Monday, August 1, 2016

Green Herons

Call this a picnic at the river for two young Green Herons patrolling the waters below Thiensville Village Park dam, Thiensville, Wisconsin.

In knee deep water (s)he was finding many good items to eat ranging from tiny insects to more meaty fare.

Her companion, possibly a sibling, hunts from a snag out in the river. Red-winged dragon flies were everywhere this day and the unlucky ones were on the menu.

Fishing is always good, but it required some intense concentration to be successful.

Whether it was good luck, skill or the profusion of prey, these similar-sized heron companions were having a stellar day. Green Herons hunt by day or night, usually in four inches of water or less. They eat from a wide variety of water borne creatures including fish, crustaceans, spiders, reptiles and rodents.

This forlorn creature was plucked from the shoreline never to be seen again.

Still small and immature and crow-sized for comparison, Green Herons grow into football sized adults.

A stocky body conceals a surprisingly long neck.  Waiting motionless while unsuspecting prey venture within range, the Green Heron either grasps or spears prey.

At which point it is game-over.


(Click any picture to enlarge.)

Credit: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds