Great Blue Herons are basically birds of prey. They love a gopher or two or six. And like Hawks and Owls, they too cough up pellets of indigestible material. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you…
…a Great Blue Heron pellet. Yeah, I know gross (but fascinating too). I picked it apart… it was pretty much all gopher fur and a couple insect exoskeletons.
Crissy Field, San Francisco, CA.
The Park Service has cut down a lot of trees at Crissy Field that were once frequented by hunting hawks. Thankfully the few that remain have still got some hawk attracting properties. The other evening I saw a Red-tailed Hawk bank in the setting sunlight and land to survey the gopher strewn grass below. Above, it leaps into action when it spots something moving in distant taller grasses.
Tough hunting that evening sent the hawk towards the Golden Gate Bridge and out towards the Presidio, presumably to roost and try again in the morning.
Snowy Egrets can often be seen foraging together in scattered groups but there is inevitably some tension and competition. When an egret decides it has had enough it isn’t shy about showing its displeasure.
The egret on the left was busy preening and looked up just in time to see the aggressor arriving.
Dancing over the water in a fit of rage.
The chase becomes relentless when the message doesn’t seem to sink in.
Prepared for anything, it leaves its landing gear down, dragging its feet in the water preparing for a change of direction.
A Great Egret watches the chase unconcerned.
Leaving the scene in style.
A Great Blue Heron at Crissy Field needs to stay sharp amongst the roaming off-leash dogs.
Don’t be mistaken, Great Blues are as fierce as any raptor. Evidentiary images follow that are not for the faint of heart.
Great Egrets are close cousins and have the same predatory predilections.
A Red-shouldered Hawk relocates to a ledge under an overpass after hunting for rats from the hydrant. Yet another reason to love San Francisco.