Blue v. Crow

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) v. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

The Great Blue Heron dominates not only in the wet shallows and on dry land but also high up in the treetops. I had just got out of the car and set up my camera when the heron rose from the North Basin embankment and, with a croak, flew to the top of a cypress tree in the Hilton Doubletree parking lot. It wasn’t long before an American Crow spotted it and tried to attack it. The crows consider the hotel area their private property, possibly because there’s plenty of food spillage around. They were death on a pair of White-tailed Kites trying to raise a brood in that area back in 2019 — see “Murder by Crows,” May 5 2019 and related posts. It puzzled me at the time why the clearly superior kites didn’t put up an aggressive defense. The heron didn’t hesitate. It lunged at the attacking crow with that formidable beak. After a few passes, the crow recognized it wasn’t dealing with a Gandhi kind of bird, and it retreated and settled down to reconsider. After some time looking around and seeing no further threats, the heron declared victory and flew south across the hotel grounds and out of sight.

The video is slowed down by about half to make the action clearer.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) v. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

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