It Followed Me Home, Can I Keep It? Wordless Wednesday and Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot Two Ways

Great blue heron lands a large fish.

Great blue heron lands a large pike.

Great blue heron lands a large fish - detail.

Head-shot detail.

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Thanks for the Wordless Wednesday nudge and also thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands for the Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot Two Ways nudge and WordPress.

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(This took place October 7, 2007)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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Posted on August 14, 2013, in ardea herodias, Art, Birds, daily prompt, Great Blue Heron, Nature, Photography, Photography challenge, postaday, Weekly Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography, Wordless Wednesday and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. Wow! I love that shot. Such excitement in it. Great capture and great composition in your crop. Was the heron able to swallow it?

    • Thanks, Bob! As you can imagine, I was pretty amazed when it came out, myself. Yes, she swallowed the whole pike. It took about half an hour or so, and the final photo is pretty funny: the heron has her beak facing skyward, and you can see the two tail fins of the pike sticking up, but nothing else. I was concerned that she had bitten off more than she could chew, as the expression goes, but it worked out ok.

  2. Love this shot Babsje! Stunning! 😀

  3. What a great live shot! Nice that you posted two versions.

    Here’s my Wordless Wednesday!

  4. Beautiful. We’d love to see photos of this bird actually swallowing that pike!

  5. Fishing

    The two of them stood in the middle water,
    The current slipping away, quick and cold,
    The sun slow at his zenith, sweating gold,
    Once, in some sullen summer of father and daughter.
    Maybe he regretted he had brought her—
    She’d rather have been elsewhere, her look told—
    Perhaps a year ago, but now too old.
    Still, she remembered lessons he had taught her:
    To cast towards shadows, where the sunlight fails
    And fishes shelter in the undergrowth.
    And when the unseen strikes, how all else pales
    Beside the bright-dark struggle, the rainbow wroth,
    Life and death weighed in the shining scales,
    The invisible line pulled taut that links them both.

    A. E. STALLINGS

    *clap * amazing catch Babsje

  6. Great pictures. The detail in that last picture is wonderful.

    • Thanks for the kind words! I feel lucky to have been in the right place at the right time, and pleased that the backlighting highlighted the beak and fins the way it did.

  7. Wonderful action shot!

  8. OK….if you insist!! That is awesome!

  9. I’ve never known a GBH to attempt to land such a large fish; around Vancouver, I’ve known them to subsist on small fry that they pull out of freshwater or saltwater shorelines — never something of the size of a pike. Kudos on you for being very patient (or, judging from your replies to some other comments – very lucky! ;)). In either case, you were there with your camera and ready to press the shutter release; and that’s the main thing! Well done.

    • Thanks for the kind words! That day, I think both the heron and I were pretty lucky, but the pike not so much. At the lake where this was taken, I’ve seen them also catch large trout and bass, along with large sunfish and salmon. They also go for frogs, turtles, crawfish, catfish and dragonflies. I watched one stalk a chipmunk, without success. Thanks for visiting my blog, glad you like the herons, too.

  10. Beautifully done. That is a good study into the intensity of a hunting heron.

    Since you are so into Blue Herons, you might want to check these two post from my blog: http://thecvillean.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/gone-fishin/ and http://thecvillean.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/still-fishin-but-for-something-a-little-different/.

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Al, and also for the links to the two heron blog posts of yours. They’re both great to see, you’re fortunate to have such a photogenic heron in your backyard!!

  11. Wow, amazing photos ! 🙂

  12. I never realized Herons were such amazing hunters until I witnessed one stalking gophers and after much patient waiting, grabbing a gopher lunch.

    • That must have been quite a sight to behold, wow. Thanks for sharing it here in comments. I’ve watched herons stalk small mammals, such as chipmunks, but the mammals have always prevailed so far when I’ve been around.

  13. Fantastic pictures-great action and energy here-

  14. Superb photos, Babsje. What a great catch! 🙂

  15. You must be a very patient photographer. We have a GBH rookery not too far from our house. Although it’s not accessible by foot, there’s a spot cars can pull off the road and view from a fairly significant distance. The closest tree has three nests going off left-right-left. My husband called it “a menorah of herons” the first time we saw it. Amazing to see 7 or 8 herons all perched in the same tree! Thanks for such a visual treat

    • Thanks for visiting and for your kind words here. After many years of photographing the herons, I’ve decided that most of what I know about patience has come from observing the great blue herons. I love your husband’s descriptions of the tree of nests as a heron menorah – that’s perfect. Your fortunate to be near a rookery even if it’s not very accessible. Do you have high-power binoculars that lot you see them more closely? The most great blues I’ve seen in a single tree is 4 – two parents and two chicks. Seeing as many as you have in one tree would be thrilling!

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