Ever seen a Blue Heron ?

I am blessed to have a mating pair of bald eagles that visit my farm daily.  They like to catch my grain fed catfish down in my small, one acre pond.  It might be a small pond but it has a large population of catfish, as I feed them every evening… a bit before dark.  Most days I have an eagle sitting in a tree, watching over the pond.  It is not unusual for a blue heron to be sitting on the dock, hunting for fish itself… just smaller fish.  The eagles seem to take the bigger fish while the blue heron goes for the smaller fish & minnows.  The blue heron is an odd looking bird but it is perfectly designed to hunt small fish, especially when wading in shallow water.

Yesterday was no different.   As I drove up to the pond to feed fish, an eagle was up in a tree above me and a blue heron was on the dock.  That bird has gotten smart lately.  It used to fly away but it has learned to come back, as soon as I drive off.  Within a few seconds of my driving off, before I can get 50 feet away, it now lands on the dock watching the catfish feed.  Soon as they are mostly done, it really perks up to hunt the smaller fish eating the leftover catfish food.  I took this video yesterday.  It is not the best video in the world and certainly not the best viewing angle, but it still shows what I’m talking about.  I just love watching nature.



  • Comments (9)

    • 2

      How does one go about stocking catfish? Can you just buy them? We have 2 ponds, about 1/8 of an acre each (so much smaller) recently dug. I’ve considered putting fish in, but didn’t know if they’d stay alive.

      Cool video. We have blue herons (they’re gangly things!) and, of course, eagles up here in the PNW. We also have a very large pair of ravens that have nested here for years. Nature is very cool. 

      • 2

        Here, there are companies that sell the small fish for stocking ponds.  Several times a year they come to the local feed stores & coops.  You just show up, place your order & brings the bags of little fish to your pond.  So I’d check in with such stores in your area.  I stocked with minnows, hybrid bream and channel catfish… all species that are native to this area & thrive in ponds.  I keep a much larger than natural population of fish, so I have to feed them daily.  Its not terribly expensive & I enjoy watching when they come to the surface to feed.  I consider them a true prepper resource.  I’d guess I have around 2000 pounds of fish swimming in that pond and they are not a resource that could be easily stolen.

        These pics are when I stocked my pond.



    • 3

      That is a very cool bird! I’ve been trying to just watch nature and how it all works together lately. Animals are particularly interesting because they all have so much personality. 

      That heron is really neat to watch. I loved how it just sat there and dove in after the fish. Then it is able to get out of the water by generating enough lift and flying back to the dock. It focuses on the fish and swallows, which you can see it traveling down it’s throat, and then once it’s meal is situated in it’s belly, it fluffs up and shakes off all the water.

      This video made my day, thank you for sharing. 

      • 3

        You are welcome and glad you enjoyed.  Watching these animals makes my day.

        I am amazed this blue heron sits out on the dock with a bald eagle up in a tree about 50 feet away.  You might think the eagle would attack & eat the heron but I’ve never seen any such attack.  And their actions tell me the eagles don’t bother the herons.  I assume the eagles get all the food they want from my catfish.  I know they prefer a fish diet but will eat most anything.

        I always assumed blue herons just waded in shallow water to hunt but they will fly into the water & float around just like a goose.  First time I saw one swimming around, I was shocked.

      • 2

        What surprised me is that it jumped in and attacked from the dock. That seems much slower than being down in the water and just jabbing in your beak. But what do I know!? That heron has caught more fish than I’ll ever catch.

    • 3

      Love the video! We get great blue herons (which are huge, and have a very loud call) and night herons all the time by our boat in San Francisco. Here’s a night heron there:


      • 1

        That is a beautiful bird and yes, the blue heron has a very loud call.  You can’t miss it.

    • 2

      There are herons over near the dam that we enjoy on the way to/from golf. Funny how he/she is on a small island in the winter AM when it is COLD then later in the day, off fishing. We have a nesting pair of bald eagles that live here but they take the babies ” upriver” in the summer to hunt. Then back they come early fall, minus the babies. The eggs usually hatch a week before Christmas. There are certain trees they hang out in at certain times of the day. And watch the kids. And jump, flap, scream and holler if an unknown vehicle pulls up. One heron would perch in a pine tree overlooking the pond. Herons look reeeaaaaalyyy stupid up in a pine tree<shaking head>. But yes, so fun to watch!


      • 2

        I’m the same way when I watch a heron land in a tree and perch.  Just seems odd that such a long, big bird can land with the grace of any other bird.

    • 1

      Great Blue Herons are the best!

      I love your observational skills.

      Your bird teaches us that maybe we shouldn’t even pay attention to what the big guys get, but concentrate and be smart about finding resources within our reach.