Heron Harassment

Great Blue Heron (right) chases Black-crowned Night Heron (in the rocks)

It was a minus 0.9 foot low tide, and the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) had an appetite for seafood. It thought that there might be items of interest among the deeply exposed rocks. The Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) hunts here often and had the same idea. The big heron was of the opinion that this area was too small for both of them. It launched its formidable dagger in the direction of the much smaller bird, which got the message and scrambled for higher rocks. But the smaller heron had no intention of yielding the area. It mostly kept low between the rocks, out of sight of the big bird, until it saw an appetizing item directly at the water’s edge, and set about feeding on it. The big bird meanwhile had only scored a little minnow. When it saw the smaller heron chomping away, that was too much. It spread its mighty wings and flapped to the spot, chasing the small heron deeper into the crevices. But the small bird wasn’t intimidated. It flew after the stalking big heron and settled on the stones almost directly over its head. as if to taunt it. The big heron either didn’t see it or decided to ignore it. Meanwhile a gull grabbed a clam and flew off.

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