Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
 about habitat birds + science 20 birds
aerialist raptors
copyright UW Sea Grant, writer: L. Wiland, design: T. Yao contact us credits

Great Blue Heron — Water Connection, page 2

• Great Blue Herons, along with other heron species, employ another unique hunting technique—the bird cups its wings on the surface of the water, and floats with current or wind in deeper water, its head extended beneath the water as if trolling for prey.

• Great Blue Herons seize their prey with a quick beak thrust, often killing the victim by spearing it before flipping and aligning it headfirst for passage down the throat. Herons can swallow a fish or other prey many times wider than the heron’s narrow neck, although the birds rarely choke to death trying to swallow oversize prey.

• The Great Blue Heron’s feet feature long toes, three forward-facing and one rearward. A short stretch of skin between first and second front toes aids the bird’s footing in soft mud.         next page >>

ML Reeb writer: Laurence Wiland design: T. Yao