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Author Topic: Bit off More than He Could Chew?  (Read 171 times)

Chris Kern

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Bit off More than He Could Chew?
« on: July 07, 2018, 04:39:06 PM »

Can one of you bird experts figure out what is in this heron's beak?  I stood watching him for ten minutes, and he never tried either to swallow it or to shake or brush it away.  Remains of a recently eaten smaller bird?  Or some sticky plant or man-made debris that got stuck?

bleggett

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Re: Bit off More than He Could Chew?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2018, 05:23:29 PM »

Chris,

I've seen this after a bird has finished preening, they often have small feathers stuck to their bills.

Bob
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Chris Kern

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Re: Bit off More than He Could Chew?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2018, 06:31:20 PM »

I've seen this after a bird has finished preening, they often have small feathers stuck to their bills.

Interesting.  Thanks.  Never occurred to me.

degrub

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Re: Bit off More than He Could Chew?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2018, 08:02:28 PM »

sometimes you will see a large ant on their bill, dead. Also used for preening.
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Chris Calohan

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Re: Bit off More than He Could Chew?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2018, 09:21:17 AM »

That's a Morphing Little Blue Heron (they are born pure white and gradually over the course of several months go to full on blue). The feather is left over from preening as these guys are primarily fish eaters though given a good opportunity will eat a snake, frog or even a dragonfly.
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Chris Kern

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Re: Bit off More than He Could Chew?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 10:08:10 AM »

That's a Morphing Little Blue Heron

He was surprisingly relaxed despite the tourists walking past him about 100 feet away.  He didn't even startle when two workers drove by in a National Park Service vehicle, repeatedly bleeping a siren that was annoyingly loud.

syncrasy

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Re: Bit off More than He Could Chew?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2018, 10:11:54 AM »

Agreed on the preening explanation, but disagree with my friend Chris C. on the bird ID. That's an adult Great Blue Heron (white crown, yellow lower bill, long chest feathers) who probably snagged that feather from his/her white belly feathers.
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Chris Calohan

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Re: Bit off More than He Could Chew?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2018, 10:15:00 AM »

Agreed on the preening explanation, but disagree with my friend Chris C. on the bird ID. That's an adult Great Blue Heron (white crown, yellow lower bill, long chest feathers) who probably snagged that feather from his/her white belly feathers.

You are right as to the ID. I'd just finished editing a morphed little blue and the coloration was similar.
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