Herons are very effective and lethal predators. They go after fish, crabs, and just about any small animal they can catch with their long sharp bills. They aren’t afraid of attempting to catch pretty big fish either, some of which seem too big to swallow. Although the Green Heron usually catches small fish, it won’t pass up a chance for an over-sized meal. Recently, I witnessed a Green Heron catch and attempt to swallow a Tilapia that looked bigger than its head!
The crow-sized, stocky heron used its sharp bill to stab the fish and pull it out of the water.
With a short toss of its beak, it flipped the fish into its bill.
It maneuvered the Tilapia so it could go down the hatch head first.
Once the fish seemed to be positioned just right, the heron started to swallow it.
It didn’t seem to go down the right way so the Green Heron let the fish slide back out a bit for another attempt.
Once the heron got the fish half way down, the look on its face was priceless! It seemed as if it was saying to itself, “Oops, this might have been too big to swallow!”
It eventually ate the fish but it took a while. I wonder when it needed to eat again?