Skip to main content

Birds eating BIG THINGS!

I made this photo in 2011, at a wetland in Florida. This Great Blue Heron was wrestling with some sort of huge catfish (I think it was a catfish). We were amazed that the heron could even pick the thing up. Circumstances dictated our departure before the drama played out. I don't know if the bird ever managed to wolf that thing down.

It seems that some birds have eyes bigger than their stomachs. If potential food swims along, they just can't resist grabbing it, even if choking it down may be problematic.

Leslie Sours sent along a fabulous series of images of a Common Loon successfully capturing and swallowing an impressively large fish. I can't tell what species the victim is; if anyone knows, let us know. If I remember the story correctly, this loon was frozen into a patch of water too small to take off from, and was captured and released elsewhere in the Columbus area.

The following images document the epic struggle between the gluttonous loon and the unfortunate fish.

Photo: Leslie Sours

Photo: Leslie Sours

Photo: Leslie Sours

Photo: Leslie Sours

That oughta hold the loon over for a while! Thanks to Leslie for sharing her images!


Dave Lewis said…
We once watched a Great Blue Heron trying to swallow a muskrat at Magee. He finally gave up after an hour...just couldn't that that behind down his gullet!
Unknown said…
Great captures! Oh wow so the loon really consumed that entire fish in the last shot here? Does the poor fish put up any fight, if eaten, does it go down wriggling all the way?!


Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.

So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…