2022—It’s What’s for Dinner!

The way birds eat fascinates me. The more bizarre the more intriguing. Some birds tear their prey limb from limb, while feathers or fur flies. Still others swallow what they’ve captured whole, and possibly alive. Take herons for example. Great Blue Herons swallow what they catch whole, a frog or a fish or a rat, for example, regardless of size. We encountered this GBH standing on a raft of lily pads along the shallow edges of Lake Kissimmee in Florida one morning. It had impaled a Greater Siren, a type of Florida Giant Salamander that can be more than three feet in length, skewering its beak through the creature’s head and waiting for the unfortunate creature to die. We have no idea how long it had been waiting to devour its prey when we first came across it. Soon after we arrived, it flew to another raft and then another. And it was almost ten minutes before it finally disengaged its beak from the body of the salamander, changed position, flipped it up, and gulped it down whole. Fascinating!