The Green Heron

green_heron_at_dunes_golf_course2c_sanibelOn the north west side of the main island there is a U shaped branch hanging out over the water. It’s about two feet above the canal and its the perch of preference for our resident Green Heron. We see him almost every day diving off this branch for his dinner. As you can see from this Wiki photo, he’s a handsome fellow with a dark green iridescent plumage and bright orange to yellow legs.

He’s often seen around the east side of the island and you’ll probably hear him before you spot him as he’s quite vocal. You can find out much more about this character, including the numerous noisy calls he makes here on Wikipedia.

I believe there are two pairs of these small herons inhabiting The Oxbow.

I only just discovered that they they drop food, insects, or other small objects on the water’s surface to attract fish, making them one of the few known tool-using species. This feeding method has led some to title the green and closely related striated heron as among the world’s most intelligent birds.[6] They are able to hover briefly to catch prey.

Unlike the Blue Heron, our Green Heron is absent from the area during winter, tending to migrate south. I think Cancun is a favorite. A very wise bird indeed!

 

 

Author: Mike Caswell

I live in Fairport, and my home is at The Oxbow section of The Erie Canal. I fish, have a pontoon boat and like messing in boats. (see www.mud-skipper.com). I'm retired and enjoy every day living here with my wife Carol and our two dogs.

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