Posted by on Jun 21, 2012 in My Blog, Shore Birds | 0 comments

Great Blue Heron vs. Snake

While visiting Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge near Titusville, FL, I was fortunate to witness a new sight with one of my very favorite water birds, the Great Blue Heron.  I had been watching him move about tactically in the marsh and saw he was very focused on his journey.  I thought, “He’s looking for a nice fish for lunch!”  All of a sudden he lunged forward in heron-style with great precision and there was his lunch dangling from his long spear-like beak…a snake!!  The next few moments were impressive.

I estimated the snake to be about 4-5 ft. long of considerable girth.  He had caught the snake behind the head…smart move.  Guess he had done that a few times.  It was so interesting to see him work with the snake jerking and flipping the slimy creature until he got it just like he wanted it and then the descent down the throat began.  UGH!!!  The heron stretched his long neck out to give a direct path to  his luncheon treat to travel and pretty soon one could see the movement down the throat.    It certainly gave new meaning to “Bottoms Up!”

And just as we human do, he stepped just a few feet forward and grabbed a drink to help wash it all down.  Just felt a little blessed to see that whole process.  :-)

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