Posts Tagged ‘Green Heron’

Green Heron (eating a fish)

February 1, 2016

The following brief time-series of photos shows a Green Heron (Butorides virescens) preying upon a small fish in the wetlands at Huntley Meadows Park. Now you see it, …

A Green Heron (Butorides virescens) spotted eating a fish at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

10 JUN 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Green Heron (eating a fish)

…now you don’t! (The bird raised its head in order to swallow the fish.)

A Green Heron (Butorides virescens) spotted eating a fish at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

10 JUN 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Green Heron (eating a fish)

The Backstory

The Green Heron appeared while I was hunting Unicorn Clubtail dragonflies (Arigomphus villosipes). [See related post: Unicorn Clubtail dragonfly (male).] Green Herons can quite skittish. The bird may not have noticed me as I was sitting quietly on my Coleman camp stool, “waiting for the game to come to me” (one of several strategies for stalking odonates).

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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Predator-Prey Relationships

August 6, 2014

“Eat or be eaten” is perhaps the most fundamental law of nature. Predator-prey relationships can change suddenly: one minute a predator, such as a frog, is hunting for its next meal; next minute the frog becomes the prey and is a meal for another predator, such as a bird, higher on the food chain.

The following time-series of photographs, shown in reverse chronological order, features a Green Heron (Butorides virescens) preying upon a frog in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park on 04 August 2014.

Green Heron (eating a frog)

Photo 4. Down the hatch!

Green Heron (eating a frog)

Photo 3. Frogs are easier to swallow head first.

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Photo 2. Gotcha!

Green Heron (eating a frog)

Photo 1. Going in for the kill.

Related Resources:

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Green Heron

February 9, 2013

A Green Heron (Butorides virescens) spotted in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

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Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Green Heron versus Blue Dasher dragonfly

November 20, 2012

A Green Heron (Butorides virescens), possibly an immature, spotted in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park. This individual was stalking a male Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis). The dragonfly narrowly escaped death, in case you’re wondering who won the face-off.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Green Heron (predator-prey) redux

September 19, 2012

The following photos show a Green Heron (Butorides virescens), possibly an immature, spotted during a photowalk through the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park. This individual was stalking and eating a frog. The heron speared the frog with both the upper and lower parts of its beak. As a result, the heron seemed to have difficulty removing its beak from the frog. Photo 2 shows the heron trying to shake free of the frog (notice the spray of water droplets); no luck. Eventually the heron flew to a nearby tree, where I lost sight of the predator and its prey. This is the same bird featured in another of my spottings.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Green Heron (predator-prey)

July 31, 2012

A Green Heron (Butorides virescens), possibly an immature, spotted in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park. This individual was stalking and eating a frog. I have observed the same bird (at least I think it’s the same bird) for two weeks. It seems like the bird has learned frogs like to hide in the shade under the boardwalk. The bird walks along the edge of the boardwalk looking for frogs; when it spots one, it launches itself beak-first like a spear. (Photo 1 shows how the bird’s beak speared the frog.) Next the bird hops onto the boardwalk and repositions the frog until it is holding the frog head first. Then, gulp! Photo 6 is entitled, “I can’t talk … I have a frog in my throat!”

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Photo 1.

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Photo 2.

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Photo 3.

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Photo 4.

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Photo 5.

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Photo 6.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Green Heron

June 20, 2012

The following photos show a Green Heron (Butorides virescens) spotted in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com


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