Category Archives: Tool use by birds

Who’s a good Great Blue Heron? You are! You are a good Great Blue Heron! (Post #300)

© Babsje (

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather – babsjeheron

Doesn’t this Great Blue Heron holding a seagull feather bring to mind a friendly dog playfully carrying his favorite toy back to you, wagging his tail?

At the time, I wanted to say to her, “Who’s a good girl? You are! You are a good girl!” because the way she pranced the length of the submerged log seemed so playful – at first.

At first, it looked playful, but then I realized the seagull feather was not a mere toy to this Great Blue Heron – it was a tool, a fishing lure she repeatedly dipped into the water to entice fishes up to the surface, making it easier for her to spear them with her stiletto beak.

I’ve witnessed Great Blue Herons using tools a few times. You can read more about Great Blue Herons fishing with tools here and here.


Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime. For some birds, it is dinnertime more often than not. Searching for their next meal, or that of their offspring, is a full-time job. A few Great Blue Herons at the lake have adapted tools to make fishing much easier, and dinner more of a sure thing.

For the month of July 2016, I will be the Featured Artist once again at the Summer Street Gallery of The Center for Arts in Natick. TCAN is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit there, please click here.

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 there, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2016 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Kayaking

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