Big Meal for GBH Chick

Great Blue Heron chicks have started to hatch around the rookery and Tuesday I spotted one in a high nest sticking his head up.

The first few days the adults will tear food apart and give it to their chicks. As the chicks grow, which happens pretty quickly, the adult dangles food in front of the chicks encouraging them to grab their own meal.

Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog
Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog

Either this chick couldn’t figure out how to get a bite of frog or wasn’t hungry, but after a minute or so the chick lost his chance.

Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog
Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog

It took a minute or so of concentrated effort, but the adult ate the frog in one bite.

Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog
Great Blue Heron Adult and Chick, with Frog

Red-shouldered Hawk

Perched over a boggy area at the edge of the swamp this Red-shouldered Hawk had just swooped in and seemed on high alert, probably looking for a meal.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

He spent a few minutes here studying the area then moved on without even trying to catch lunch.

Check out his talons, curved around that branch. This is how they squeeze their meals. (Turtle, It’s What’s For Lunch)

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

American Bittern

American Bitterns are known for being hard to spot, standing motionless in among camouflaging vegetation. At the end of January one had been spotted multiple times at the edge of a swamp I frequent, always near sundown making it even harder to see in the low light.

On a recent visit to the swamp I had been scanning this area as the sun illuminated it and saw nothing. I walked away to check out the corner and when I returned about 5 minutes later the sun was gone but there he was!

American Bittern
American Bittern

I don’t know if he flew or walked out into the open. I turned away for another minute or two and he had moved closer to me, nicely tucked behind some dead vines.

American Bittern
American Bittern

Taken February 8, 2019.