Friday, April 3, 2009

Like the prize it is....

My husband and I are visiting the north east part of Ohio for the weekend. Lucky for me we are not very far from the shores of Lake Erie and several wonderful marshes and swamps. Upon our arrival, yesterday, we headed to a well known marsh called Magee Marsh Wildlife Area which is part of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. One of the first birds we saw as we drove along the canal leading to the parking lots were several blue herons. There were 6 herons in one canal! I love the steel blue color of the adult birds and the little ornate black plumes that wisp upward off of their heads..and those eyes.....so serious looking !!
We stopped and watched as this guy spotted something in the water. As usual, he posed over the water for a few seconds before swooping down with that bill to get his meal. We linger.. eager to see him quickly swallow whatever he has caught...I have to say we were very surprised when he emerged from the weeds with a big fat catfish that had to be 10+ inches long! Was he really going to swallow that!! We stood and watched for quite some time.

First one attempt , than another, to throw the fish upwards with those long neck muscles. As we watched he made about a dozen attempts to eat this fish..and every time he looked like he was making some success, the fish would plunge to the ground...back to step one..over and over..he finally started to actually rest his head on the ground in between attempts..
Finally, after about 20 minutes or so of pure work on his part.. he just stood looking at the fish lying on the ground....What do you do with a fish that is just not cooperating in being your dinner??

Well, you just proudly pick it up, like the prize it is, and slowly stroll into the tall weeds like nothing happened. Maybe he can make the other herons jealous that he already has his dinner.. even if he can 't figure out a how to swallow it!

18 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

What a great series of pictures.Poor bird,I wonder if he ever got to enjoy his catch.
Blessings,Ruth

Leedra said...

This is a great series of pics, to be able to capture the Great Blue with his wishful supper.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun

Leedra’s Greeting Cards

Photography By Leedra

CountryDreaming said...

If you can manage it, a trip back to Magee Marsh is well worth it during spring warbler migration season. Maybe we'll run into each other ... stranger things have happened. :-) I'm hoping to go with a friend.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Beautiful Tina... Sometimes it is neat to go to a different area of the country and find new birds to photograph. The Blue Heron is beautiful.

Have a nice trip.
Hugs,
Betsy

Kallen305 said...

Fantastic series w/ the Heron trying to eat the fish!! What an opportunity to see it. Thanks for sharing as I have never seen that before.

Eve said...

Maybe it was a learning curve Tina!!
Crazy Heron.

Chris said...

Hi Tina,
This is a gorgeous serie!! He got a very big fish and you got very nice pictures! Well done!

George said...

Absolutely amazing!

Gail said...

Your photos are so amazing!

Bird Girl said...

Oh that is just a riot! I can't believe he can't swallow that fish (big as it is) So lucky for YOU to see his struggles - wow - he is GORGEOUS!!! Must be the breeding plumage that make this bird that much more beautiful than usual! Wonderful series, Tina! Hope you see lots more!
These pictures looked PERFECT when I made them large - wooo -hooo :-)

dAwN said...

Wow ..what a fish! too bad he didnt get to enjoy it. Well...at least it got to show it off...

Abe Lincoln said...

Amazing set of photos.

Philip said...

Tina
I read somewhere that these catfish lock their fines so they carnt be swallow do you think this may of been the case ? Nice shots BTW

NCmountainwoman said...

Wonderful series of photographs. What fun it must have been to watch the struggle.

Tina said...

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for stopping by, love your nice words...and I think Philip hit
on what might have happened to this poor heron. I spoke to the naturalist at Magee Marsh and he said the cat fish do lock their side fins, when possible, which makes it difficult for large birds to swallow them..

Twas a sight to watch! Hope you all had a great weekend!

Shellmo said...

You have to give him credit for trying! What great photos you captured of his efforts!!

fishing guy said...

Tina: Great photos, glad you were able to visit my part of the world in NE Ohio. You had to be pretty close coming from PA.
I went to a Heron rookery on Saturday and saw about 100 herons.

Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

Too funny! What a neat thing to witness, though. :-)

would like to hear your thoughts..