by , Ranger
Greg Dodge is a professional naturalist as well as a writer, videographer and producer of natural history DVDs. His images have been used in various TV productions, museum displays, and corporate videos. Above all, he has a fascination and passion for all things natural.
Stop by and say hello Tuesday thru Saturday in Explore the Wild, Catch the Wind, or on the Dino Trail.

Big Blue and the Bull

May 15th, 2010

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.

Join the conversation:

  1. Director Comment :

    How amazing to be able to see this- thanks Greg. What time of day was it?

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  2. Ranger Comment :

    It was indeed amazing to see. But, there’s always something amazing happening in the Wetlands, you just have to be there to see it. Fortunately, I’m lucky enough to be out there most of the day.
    The time was 3:22-3:35 PM.
    Thanks,

    Posted by Greg Dodge, Ranger
  3. This is worthy of National Geographic. Fantastic, Greg!!

    Posted by Wendy
  4. Web Geek Comment :

    Is there a reason the Heron went back into the water to eat the frog?

    Posted by Beck Tench
  5. Ranger Comment :

    Although it appears that the heron may have walked back out into the water, in the photo of the bird getting ready to tilt its head back and swallow, it was actually standing at the edge of the water as it finally gulped down the frog. The frog was quite dead at the time with little chance of it wriggling free and swimming away.
    Thanks

    Posted by Greg Dodge, Ranger
  6. Ranger Comment :

    Thanks Wendy!
    There are hundreds of little dramas being played out at any given time in the Wetlands, anyone who cares to witness them can do so, if they have the inclination.
    See you in the Wetlands.

    Posted by Greg Dodge, Ranger
  7. Terrific sequence of shots! What camera did you use? Where were you standing?

    Posted by Karyn
  8. Really wonderful images Greg! Good work.

    Posted by Laura H.
  9. Ranger Comment :

    Thanks Karyn.
    The camera used was a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35.
    Initially, I was standing on the Wetlands Overlook, then quickly moved to the boardwalk between the pavement and the Black Bear Overlook.
    Have a good one.

    Posted by Greg Dodge, Ranger
  10. Ranger Comment :

    Thanks Laura.
    It seems as though this series of shots has generated much interest.
    Thanks again, and hope to see you down by the Wetlands soon.

    Posted by Greg Dodge, Ranger
  11. Your best obsevation yet! Nicely done!

    Posted by Leon Bradford
  12. Ranger Comment :

    Thanks Leon.
    I wish I had more time to document all of what goes on out there, in the wild.

    Posted by Greg Dodge, Ranger

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