Big Blue and the Bull

May 15, 2010 | Greg Dodge

The Great Blue Heron is back, and hungry!

A Bullfrog makes a nice meal for a heron. Our resident heron (below) has captured a large male frog.

gbh

This Great Blue Heron’s in pretty deep. Not only is it up to its belly in the water but it has nabbed a large, squirming male Bullfrog.

With a firm grip on the frog, the heron wades over to a nearby island to safely prepare the frog for consumption.

gbh frog

The heron takes the frog over to one of the Wetland’s small islands to make preparations for eating.

frog

Although mortally wounded, the frog may still be able to escape if dropped in the water.

The frog must be rendered motionless before it’s gulped down. A squirmy, wiggling frog may accidentally be dropped in the water and could be lost among the weeds and algae, too much time and energy goes into the capture to let that happen. The island allows for a safe place to work on the frog.

gbh

After repeatedly dropping the frog and stabbing at it until it no longer moved, it was finally time to eat the frog.

gbh

Gripping the frog head first makes for an easier slide down the heron’s long throat.

gbh

Several minutes after gulping down the frog the heron waded out into the water to survey the scene.

gbh

The heron takes off for a favorite perch.

The whole sequence took approximately 13 minutes, from capture to take off, when the heron retreated to a favorite perch to digest, preen, and rest.

Life in the Wetlands.

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