Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Strange Behavior

While birding at Lyon’s City Park on Sunday we spotted a Great Blue Heron. As we watched it through binoculars, Jeanette noticed that it was strangely standing with its mouth open.  As we watched a little closer we noticed that not only was its mouth open, but its throat was all a quiver. Jeanette said, “Its going to cough up a pellet!” Sure enough, a few more antics and out came a pellet. As it turns out Herons like a great many other birds that that swallow their prey whole cough up the indigestible parts in a form of a pellet. I wasn’t able to catch the exact event, but you can see in the photo the Heron is getting ready for a repeat performance. We owe our insights into Herons and pellets to Elva Paulson in a wonderful post of hers from last year in Elva’s Field Notes. 

1 comment:

  1. The other day on You Tube, I watched a Great Blue Heron swallow two sizeable, furry gophers. I can understand how a heron could not completely digest such a meal and have to regurgitate pellets full of bones and fur. Lee