Typically, we have one great blue heron in our wetlands. Recently a second has shown up. Yesterday, I saw three gbh’s. Today (11/28), there were four.
do all these herons want? Fish, tadpoles, crawfish, and whatever else they can catch that’ll fit down their long throats.
The fish were packed in tight up against the shoreline of the wetlands at the foot of the Main Wetlands Overlook. It has been very busy lately, people wise, and this area has been extremely popular with visitors. The herons want to get over to the fish but are reluctant to do so with the many humans occupying the platform. There’s little for them to do but sit and wait till closing time before assaulting the mass of minnows.
Meanwhile…have you ever had a look at heron feet?
At one point one of the herons tried to sneak through the willow tangle next to the overlook.
I’m sure the herons had a good feast after we humans departed at closing time.
2 responses to Herons
Why do you suppose all those fish are packed in like that?
I believe the fish were herded into the corner by the dozen and more mergansers we have swimming about the Wetlands. The fish instinctually travel in schools in trying to avoid being eaten. The mergansers, in pursuing the fish, cause them to concentrate even more among any hiding area they can find, like the smartweed at the base of the Main Wetlands Overlook.
There are other areas of the Wetlands that the fish congregate. If you watch the mergansers you may see them dive in certain areas more than others, at the end of one of the islands, below certain willow trees, or in the smartweed. These are areas where the fish have concentrated, among the roots of the willows or in the smartweed, for protection from the predators. However, concentrating in those places actually makes them more vulnerable to the mergansers and herons that seek them.