Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gray Heron

I watched this Gray Heron from one of the blinds at BirdLife in Switzerland. It was wading across the pond a fair distance away, then took to the air and landed about half as far from me from where it had started. Only a couple of moments went by when it pulled two large frogs out of the water.
It appears as if the smaller of the two frogs was holding onto to the larger with its front legs. When the Heron pulled the smaller from from the water, the larger came with. I suspect that the frogs were in the middle of mating.
The Heron fought with the two frogs for a bit, setting them down and holding them under water as they do with prey, until it ended up with just one frog.
As I remember (it's been over a month already), the Heron eventually flew off with the frog and I did not get to see it swallow it down.
The Grey Heron looks very similar to our Great Blue Heron. If you look closely you will see the the striping down the neck is less than the Great Blue and it lacks the rusty coloring on the leading edge of its wings.

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