This handsome Great Blue Heron lives with the Humboldt Penguins at Woodland Park Zoo. Beautiful bird
——————————————————————————— Facts The Great Blue Heron belongs to a large family that includes herons, egrets, and bitterns. This world-wide family has about 60 species. The Great Blue Heron’s long legs allow it to hunt in deeper water than most other herons and egrets. Herons have special patches of powder down feathers, which they rake with a foot, causing the powder to fall on fish it has caught. The powder causes the fish slime and oil to clump up so that the herons then can simply brush it off with a foot. Herons also rub the powder especially on the underside of their bodies to repel swamp slime and oils. In flight Great Blue Herons average about 25 mph, their maximum flight speed can approach 35 mph. Adult herons stand around three feet tall, but can stretch to about four feet; their wingspan is about six feet. These large birds weigh only about 5 to 6 pounds.
The Great Blue Heron can swallow a fish many times wider than its narrow neck. Herons look for food anytime there is enough light. Studies suggest that cloudy weather is ideal for the birds to look for fish. Herons don’t just eat fish, however. They eat a wide variety of prey, including frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes, insects, rodents, and small birds. In catching fish, the Great Blue Heron grabs smaller fish between the two mandibles of its bill; with a quick strike it stabs the larger fish. It is dangerous to handle a Great Blue Heron. It can strike quickly; its bill is strong and very sharp and can cause serious injury.
Source . http://www.seattleaudubon.org/sas/Learn/GreatBlueHeron/Facts.aspx
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