Great Blue Heron’s Grand Fish Adventure

© Babsje (

Great blue heron trying to grasp the grand fish.

© Babsje (

Great blue heron uses body English while begging for fish from the fisherman.
(Please click here to read Part 1 of this fish tale if you missed it.)

© Babsje (

Great blue heron with fishing line flying over it’s head, left.
At right, catching a small bait fish tossed by the fisherman.

© Babsje (

Great blue heron looking beneath the surface to find the large fish tossed to her by
the fisherman. She finds it, grasps it (as seen in the first photo at the top of
this post), then finally comes back up to the surface triumphantly clutching the prize fish.

© Babsje (

She carries the fish down the shore, then washes it in the water before lifting back out.

© Babsje (

She tries to swallow the huge fish, then puts it back in the water before trying again to swallow it.

There are times when a heron tries to eat a fish that is simply too large. When that happens, sometimes the heron gives up, and abandons the fish. Sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, the consequences can be serious, and not just for the fish.

To be continued…

(This post is the second part of a series. If you missed the first part, please click here to read Part 1.)


Thanks once more to Prairiebirder Charlotte for her Feathers on Friday prompt.

Thanks to Ailsa for her Weekly Travel Theme: Still prompt. (When the fisherman tossed the enormous fish to the waiting great blue heron, I gasped, silently. While the heron attempted to eat the fish, I sat stock-still in my kayak, not daring to move lest the heron get spooked and choke on the fish.)

Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand prompt. She asked for jaw dropping, grand. The great blue heron literally dropped her jaw at the sight of the grand fish being reeled in, and my jaw dropped as the rest of this story unfolded that day.)

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for the Wild Bird Wednesday prompt.

Thanks to Sue Llewellyn for her Word A Week Photography Challenge: Shadow challenge. I shadowed the heron for a long time, in order to make sure it wasn’t harmed by the fishing line or hooks. It is not recommended to get so close or feed any wild animals, but this bird was obviously already familiar with fishermen as food sources before that day.


A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

(These photos were taken October 7, 2007.)

© 2013 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron, Fishing, Kayaking

Posted on December 13, 2013, in A Word A Week Photo Challenge, ardea herodias, Bird photography, Feathers on Friday, Fishing, Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, Nature Photography, Photo Essay, Photography, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Weekly Travel Themes, Wildlife Photography and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I can’t imagine that huge fish going down that skinny throat. Is that the same fish you have in the sidebar? Some truly beautiful shots here!

  2. Does she wash her fish all the time before eating or is since she did not lift it from the water?

    • Good question! Many great blue herons wash they prey before eating, especially for large fish. I have seen them dunk a fish in a way that suggests they are washing off debris, but also I think washing it to get it wetter, to make it easier to get down that long throat of theirs.

  3. That’s certainly one very big fish, Babsje. 🙂 Great photos as always.

  4. I can’t believe the size of fish! Looking forward to next instalment 🙂

  1. Pingback: Great Blue Heron’s Jaw-Dropping Day with a Fisherman | Babsje Heron

  2. Pingback: Epic Great Blue Heron Swallows Ginormous Fish | Babsje Heron

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