We had an interesting visitor at Coracle Cove last night. It was the end of a hot, sunny day and the tide was low, providing a shallow basin of water at the shoreline. I was wandering down to our dock to take in the sunset when I noticed this beautiful bird standing patiently in the water. I moved quietly into our little studio where I could watch undetected through a small window.
Great Blue Heron are actually regular visitors to Coracle Cove, but they don’t often stay put for as long as this one did. But then, this beautiful blue feathered bird was quite focussed on catching its next meal and didn’t seem to notice the close attention that I was paying to it at all.
Heron are carnivores and their long legs, neck and pointed bills are particularly well suited for foraging in the water. A further modification in their vertebra lets them draw their neck back into an S-shape. Standing completely motionless, they patiently wait for small fish to move into striking range, and then shoot their head and bill forward with lightning speed to spear their unwary prey.
Unfortunately, these heron are themselves, caught in the middle of the food chain. They must be ever vigilant and on the lookout for the sharp-eyed and swift-flighted eagle. As our eagle population has increased, the ungainly flight pattern of the heron is seriously outmatched, and our heron population is now noticeably declining. Can anything be done, or have we already interferred too much with Mother Nature?
follow this link to return to our website www.coraclecove.com