Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Great Blue Heron

Last Saturday, Erika and I hiked the 3-mile loop at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Despite few birds and no dragonflies, we enjoyed the brisk weather and fall colors. We spied a Great Blue Heron in the grass by the side of road. The bird stood motionless on dry ground with its neck out-stretched. I thought maybe this heron was one of the arboretum’s sculptures. I walked within several yards and the bird never moved a muscle.
Then, a bit to my relief, the heron bent over and scratched its neck. The bird then sedately walked away from me. This bird is a juvenal, and does not appear crippled—although I made no attempt to make it fly. Regular readers of my blog will recall that Great Blue Herons do not specialize in eating fish. They take almost anything they can get their beaks around—even amphibians and other animals in dry fields. (See, for example, my post from February 2013.)

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