Monday, June 13, 2016

Herons on My Mind

I have been trying to figure out our heron neighbors. They do a lot of flat out screaming. I suppose I would too if a creature with sharp talons approached one of my offspring (Norman, Breault and Moul, 1989).

Walking along Samish Road on Samish Island I heard the screaming of the local heron rookery and observed a bald eagle with what I assume to be a young heron in its talons. The bald eagles routinely pass over the nesting trees of the herons. Jones, Butler and Ydenberg (2013) note that great blue herons may be using proximity to bald eagle nests as a means of protection. Despite the predation by eagles, the eagles are also territorial and keep other eagles away as well as other potential predators away.

As both species populations have recovered from the DDT era they are developing a complex interaction. The same goes with interactions with people. As populations recover interactions will only increase.

In the past a heron that tolerated human approach could well end up as feathers in a hat. But today a tolerant heron may get more to eat (wildfidalgo.blogspot.heron-luncheonette).

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