A Winter Heron in Douglass Park

I have a little story to tell with these photos….

Back on Monday, January 4th, even though the lagoons were almost completely frozen over, a Great Blue Heron was still perched on the east end of the island in Douglass Park’s north lagoon. It was an adult heron, so I had reason to hope it knew what it was doing, but I still worried about it.

I guess I should not have worried, because on Friday morning, January 8th, I saw the Great Blue Heron on the ice with a catfish in its beak.

The heron had to work its catfish into position….

…so it could swallow the it head first.

By swallowing it head first…

…the catfish’s sharp spines could do no damage to the heron’s throat.

Investigating further, I discovered that the Great Blue Heron was fishing at a patch of open water under the old stone bridge.

I also discovered that this winter’s juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was perched in a tree right above the stone bridge…

…keeping an eye on the Great Blue Heron.

Now I have something else to worry about.

Go here to find out about the other birds seen in Douglass Park on H=January 8, 2021: https://ebird.org/bcn/checklist/S78895009

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(This story was originally published on the Nature in Douglass Park Facebook group on January 9, 2021.)

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