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Here on my island most households have at least one boat. I have a canoe, and a small 23' trawler I keep at a municipal marina.

 There is a Blue Heron who lives at the marina and  its favorite fishing spots are right around my boat named the Merganser. Here are a few photos of this magnificent bird fishing right next to my boat.

I've spent hours watching this bird fish.

I saw it catch a small eel it had difficulty swallowing, dropping it back into the water once before recapturing it and swallowing it.

Their long necks allow herons to strike at a fish with lightning speed.  

Gotcha!

Gulp!

It eats an amazing amount of fish, many are several times the size of a sardine, and are big enough to require some effort to swallow with that long throat, often with a shake of the head followed by a wag of the tail.

Here you can see this heron is injured on its wing. It still can fly normally for short distances. I have to wonder do herons fight over prime fishing territories?

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 10:14 AM PDT.

Also republished by Birds and Birdwatching.

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