Another Heron, with its eating habits explained.
This time its the unmistakable, very large, grey heron (Ardea cinerea).
OK, lets talk about what it eats, and how. Birds are like those dinosaurs that you see in movies....they are rapacious feeders and watching them eat is not pleasant. It eats fish, amphibians, small mammals, and insects as well as juvenile birds such as ducklings. It may stand motionless or sometimes moves slowly and stealthily through the water, its neck curved in an "S". It is able to straighten its neck and strike with its bill very fast. They remind me of the Pterodactyls in Jurassic Park.
Small fish are swallowed head first, and larger prey and eels are carried to the shore where they are subdued by being beaten on the ground or stabbed by the bill. They are then swallowed, or have hunks of flesh torn off. For prey such as small mammals and birds or ducklings, the prey is held by the neck and either drowned, suffocated, or killed by having its neck snapped with the heron's beak, before being swallowed whole. The bird regurgitates pellets of indigestible material such as fur, bones and the chitinous remains of insects. Nom, nom, as my daughter would say…….