A BIG backyard bird! And a mystery solved?

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I was shocked recently to look out the kitchen window and see a tall (4+ ft.?) Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) in our backyard! Moving very, very slowly, it gradually made its way toward our water feature.

Great Blue Heron in backyardAt the edge of the water, it changed its long, slender neck to graceful curves and moved very little. If appeared more like a statue than a live bird.

We assume it was looking for a fish dinner. Of the dozen small goldfish we put into the pond six years ago, only two have survived so far. Could this explain what happened to the others?

Great Blue Heron near waterWhat a privilege it was to watch this beautiful bird at close range – its long beak, the gold-rimmed eyes, the subtle shading of its feathers. After about ten minutes, it spread its wings and made a graceful exit.

We have since seen both remaining goldfish, and hope the heron had better luck elsewhere.

11 thoughts on “A BIG backyard bird! And a mystery solved?”

  1. Beautiful, Betty. I fully understand how much of a treat this was for you. For at least a dozen years, I used to thrill to the visit of ducks in the Spring, taking advantage of food on the ground from my bird feeders. Because of our cats, I no longer feed birds, SO no more ducks!

  2. Wow! How super neat! Many years back, I had one flying up and down my road
    for several days. I still have 3 feathers it lost while cruising overhead among my
    prized possessions but the only stops it made were to rest on on utility wiring just
    west of my yard. It would be interesting to know if your missing goldfish did wind
    up being food during some past, un-witnessed visits and I wonder, if my creek
    had offered something good to eat, would my blue heron have landed in my yard?

    1. Beth, glad you have the feathers for a reminder. It was great to see this one up close.I also love to see them in the air, such graceful fliers.

  3. We have one visit our backyard pond at least once each winter. I’m pretty sure it ate the Koi.
    My White milkweeds are full of buds. I have two this year so maybe I will get some viable pods.

  4. We see these a lot on our river trips but how cool to see one in your own backyard! Your hard work, knowledge and creativity with local flora sure pays off with all these wonderful visitors you get!

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