I was able to photograph this Great Blue Heron with two fish in its beak yesterday at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I have yet to see one that could eat both at the same time. They drop one when they try to position the fish so that it can be swallowed. These photos don’t show it, but this heron was able to pick the dropped shad up and swallow it after swallowing the first one. I’m guessing that the dropped shad was too injured to swim away.
Here is a photo of a Great Blue Heron with two fish I had published in the Telegraph back in 2012: Pictures Of The Day
Great Blue Heron Facts
- The primary food for great blue heron is small fish, though it is also known to opportunistically feed on a range of shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents, and other small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds.
- Herons find their food by sight and usually swallow it whole.
- They have been known to choke on prey that is too large.
- Typically, the great blue heron feeds in shallow waters, usually less than 20 inches deep, or at the water’s edge during both the night and the day, but especially around dawn and dusk.
- The most commonly employed hunting technique of the species is wading slowly with its long legs through shallow water and quickly spearing fish or frogs with its long, sharp bill.
- Great Blue Herons can hunt day and night thanks to a high percentage of rod-type photoreceptors in their eyes that improve their night vision. (Wikipedia)