One Big Fish for a Fledgling Great Blue Heron

Jordan Dam, Haw River: How does a great blue heron go about swallowing a fish that is bigger than his own head and throat? Remembering that birds are living dinosaurs and therefore closely related to reptiles, I think the birds work at relaxing the muscles of their jaw and throat until they can work their way around the fish. You will see several pauses while this fledgling heron goes utterly still – I think that is when he is resting and allowing his muscles to stretch. That’s my take on the situation. He also occasionally dips the fish back into the water to keep it wet and maintain its slipperiness. The whole episode took more than 10 minutes … I have put up only the last part of the heron’s work. As to the trash, I wish people were more careful about the environment and took their trash out with them.

 

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  1. I really didn’t think it would get it down. It looked like it was thinking about that situation.

    Bonnie

    On Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 1:55 PM doc ellen’s journey wrote:

    > neighdoctor posted: “Jordan Dam, Haw River: How does a great blue heron go > about swallowing a fish that is bigger than his own head and throat? > Remembering that birds are living dinosaurs and therefore closely related > to reptiles, I think the birds work at relaxing the muscle” >

  2. O my goodness! That’s a real cliff-hanger……….works out in the end, but so interesting to watch the heron deal with the situation….

    On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 1:55 PM doc ellen’s journey wrote:

    > neighdoctor posted: “Jordan Dam, Haw River: How does a great blue heron go > about swallowing a fish that is bigger than his own head and throat? > Remembering that birds are living dinosaurs and therefore closely related > to reptiles, I think the birds work at relaxing the muscle” >

    1. It is indeed a cliffhanger every time I see this happen. And believe it or not I see it happen about once a week. Different ages of great blue herons do it. Makes my jaw ache to watch them.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

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