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Grey heron eating moles

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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 23:31   #1
John knowlittle
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Grey heron eating moles

As I watched a Grey heron earlier today, my mind was taken back to a particular bird
I watched on several occasions in the same location, over the course of a couple of
years , which could only be described as a mole specialist, it would stand patiently
for hours on end in a field covered with mole hills, waiting for signs of movement,
before grabbing it's victim , swallowing it and a quantity of soil at the same time.
Has anybody else seen or heard of this behaviour.
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Old Wednesday 8th January 2020, 03:20   #2
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There are plenty of Great Blue Herons in the western US that seem to be gopher specialists... look up the videos.
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Old Wednesday 8th January 2020, 06:38   #3
WalterRayle
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There used to be a Grey Heron at Farlington marshes (Hampshire) that spent all its time wandering about in the bushes catching and eating Rabbits.
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Old Wednesday 8th January 2020, 07:18   #4
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And voles. I watched a Great Blue Heron catch vole after vole in a large grassy field in western Nevada some years ago, over a period of several weeks. It was a vole “plague” year so it wasn’t so much a case of “specialization” as taking advantage of a local super-abundance along with a number of other predators—kestrels, Marsh and Red-tailed Hawks, coyotes. . ..

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fugl/4...7660269987246/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/fugl/s...7627384357207/
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Old Wednesday 15th January 2020, 08:34   #5
Farnboro John
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalterRayle View Post
There used to be a Grey Heron at Farlington marshes (Hampshire) that spent all its time wandering about in the bushes catching and eating Rabbits.
I'm impressed with that as I've seen one failing to consume a moorhen it had killed, despite repeated attempts to swallow the unfortunate bird whole. Presumably it was preying on young Rabbits?

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Old Wednesday 15th January 2020, 13:57   #6
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The Purple Heron wintering in Lancashire is truly a Field Vole specialist. I have watched it take one after the other with minimal fuss.
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