Monday, February 18, 2008


Great blue heron. Fly away, leave your cares behind. Is it that way? I can’t imagine so…on occasion there is a heron in my yard, walking, stalking prey along the shoreline, drawing up a lanky leg to take a step, by step…until it freezes, and then STRIKES. So fast. So precise. Be quick to notice the next thing visible. It is a fish in the bill for mere seconds before the silhouette is seen moving down the slender neck. In a flash the feeding is over.

Most times the herons feed here without distraction, but on occasion, there are some. One time the heron standing so still on the shore that it could have been a sculpture, except for the blood that was visible and spreading on it’s smooth feathers. Ironically enough, there was a red-winged blackbird whose nest was close by and that blackbird wasn’t about to allow the nest to be disturbed. It was fascinating to watch as the blackbird attacked the comparatively giant heron, actually striking it over and over again. Although the blackbird had drawn blood, it must have been like a gnat bite, a mosquito pestering the giant. Eventually the heron caught its prey and moved on, leaving the blackbird to perch and sing again.

Here's another picture of an eagle soaring overhead…more info coming soon on the happy couple…


  1. Great shots and observations as always! I'd never heard of a blackbird attacking a heron. Wow, it was really protecting its nest at all costs.

    Have you seen that website with all audio files of bird calls? I'll have to find it; it's really fun!

    It helped me to identify a call that I've been hearing for years, but had never been able to see which bird was singing.

    Hmmm... I'll have to search my bookmarks for that site...

  2. Thanks! Good call on bird calls. I'd be interested to learn what site you've used for that.

    In the past, I've gone to the Seattle Audubon Society website to find all sorts of information. They have some great bird call recordings too. It's fun to see the cats' ears perk up when I play them.

    Here's the link to the page I've used for finding bird calls, etc:


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