"Some people criticize nonfiction writers for "appropriating" the techniques and devices of fiction writing. These techniques, except for invention of characters and detail, never belonged to fiction. They belong to storytelling." Tracy Kidder
In the last several years I've noticed many more herons in Ohio. Now it is possible they've been this common all along. Perhaps I've just started to take note of the bird as it gracefully moves through the sky. However, I'm thinking it is quite likely there is a change in the number of herons in our habitat.
Here's What I've Noticed:
- When I see a heron it is always alone.
- Herons wait patiently in the shallow parts of water for prey to mistakingly stop by.
- Indian Lake has a lot of herons.
- I don't remember seeing herons as a child.
- The heron appears to be flapping its wings slowly, but yet covers a distance quickly.
- Herons have long skinny legs.
- Herons have long necks.
- Occasionally, when excessive water makes a temporary pond in our backyard, a heron will be spotted.
- Herons appear to have a long wingspan.
|In Our Field|
Here's What I Wonder:
- Has the heron population increased in Ohio in recent years? If so, why?
- What are the migration patterns of herons?
- Do herons in Ohio always nest in a rookery?
- Did we have a heron nest in our field last summer?
- Do herons return to their nests?
- What do herons eat besides fish?
- How long do they live?
- What does its foot like? Does it use it help capture prey?
A Few Heron Facts
- The great blue heron can stand about 4 feet tall (about the size of my first graders).
- The heron only weights 5-6 pounds.
- The great blue heron is the largest heron.
- The plumage on the heron is black, brown and white, but appears bluish-grayish.
- Herons make a rough croaking noise.
- Herons catch their prey with their long bills.
- It's wingspan is 65-80 inches (as big or bigger than a person).
- Herons hunt day and night.
- They have special "rod-type photoreceptors" that help them to see at night.
- Herons eat fish, amphibians, reptiles, small animals, and other birds.
- Herons nest in trees.
- The heron is black, brown and white though it appears bluish-gray.
- The males gathers nesting material and the female builds the nest.
- The blue heron's foot is 6-8 inches long. Stop here to for a look.
- Stop here to listen to the heron.
Thanks to these sites for information:
Heron Rookery in Southern Delaware County
"The Great Blue Heron", The CornellLab of Ornithology.
"Great Blue Heron," The Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
"Great Blue Heron," BirdWeb.
"Animal Tracks - Great Blue Heron,"
"The Great Blue Heron," The Ohio Nature Blog.