Verona Blue Heron Nearly Dies in a Fight With a Fish, See the Pics
We all know mother nature is survival of the fittest, but who would have thought a bullhead catfish could possibly take down a Blue Heron. It can happen and we have the pictures to prove it.
Our wildlife photographer, William Straite was afield capturing photos of CNY's huge population of the gangly birds, when he was in the right place at the right time. And if you've followed the stories he shares with us, William is frequently in the right place.
Blue Herons usually feed by standing motionless in the water waiting for something to swim near. When it does, as in the case of this unfortunate bullhead, the bird quickly grabs the prey and attempts to swallow it whole. Sometimes this works to the detriment of the bird and it ends up choking to death. Check out these photos as the fish doesn't go down without a fight.
Blue Heron Eating a Bullhead Catfish
Is it me or is there a look of "uh oh" in the bird's eye? The incident continued for nearly 5 minutes before the Blue Heron eventually won out.
William shares more of his great photos from two Blue Heron rookeries located in Oneida and Madison county. Between the two locations there are approximately 50 nests and more than 100 herons. Blue Herons are partially migratory with some staying behind to winter in Central New York.
Blue Heron remain with a single partner only during mating season, and then move on to a new partner next year. The Males arrive first and start making the nests in a colony high in tree tops.
They lay 2-6 eggs in a "clutch" and both partners take terms nesting the eggs until they hatch in about 32-36 days.
If you have binoculars you may be able to get a first hand look as the Blue Herons are nesting with babies due to burst through the shell any day. William says the birds are residing in the tree tops of a swamp on Route 31 near Stoney Creek about a mile past the intersection of 365 and 31 heading towards Oneida Lake. While you can get close enough to see with binoculars, you'll be unable to get close enough to disturb them because of the swamp.