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Last weekend, at the Edwin B Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, when I first saw this juvenile blue heron, it had just caught a fish and was going back to the bank of the marshes to eat it.

Tricolored heron with fish caught in bill

Juvenile blue heron with fish caught in bill

By the time it turned around, the fish was gone, swallowed in its entirety. The heron preened itself smugly, then bent forward as if seeing some other meal swimming by.

Tricolored heron

Juvenile blue heron

Nothing! The bird walked away to another spot, near two humans who were also fishing with their poles and lines, and a small boat.

Tricolored heron walking away

Juvenile blue heron walking away

It was low tide, and water was rushing out of the marshes into the ocean.

Water rushing out of the marshes at low tide

Water rushing out of the marshes at low tide

Once every few minutes, I could hear fish jumping into the air and falling back into the receding water.

Suddenly the heron dove in head first.

Tricolored heron diving after fish

Juvenile blue heron diving after fish

and came up with nothing! It did not give up though and resolutely struck a pose.

Tricolored heron ready to strike

Juvenile blue heron ready to strike

Soon enough, it caught another one.

Caught another one!

Caught another one!

During the 15 minutes I spent observing and photographing it, this heron caught three fishes. The two humans caught zero during that same time.

 

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