Birds

Heron Swallows Gopher Whole

07/17/2014

Great blue herons are beautiful, large birds that typically hunt along the edges of wetlands like lakes, ponds and marshes. Their long legs help them wade through the shallows on the hunt for fish, frogs, snakes and other aquatic or semi-aquatic prey.

14147775894_9339cc476f_zPhoto by Theodore Scott via Flickr Creative Commons.

But that's not all they eat. Check out this video of a heron stalking, killing and eating a gopher that it plucked out of the rodent's underground burrow. I have actually witnessed this exact same behavior while I was in Arizona last year to keynote the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival. Each morning as I headed over to the festival, I saw a heron positioned like a statue right next to a gopher colony just waiting to snatch up a furry little mouthful.

Warning, the video shows a graphic act of predation, so if you're squeamish, don't watch.

 

 


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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