Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Purrloin » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:36 am

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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Fallenfox » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:54 am

A gray heron does a good job swallowing a bandaraya fish alive, which wriggles a bit helpfully during the swallow.

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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby GBBG » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:45 pm

Hello again,

As an update, I've recently moved to an area with a lot of natural beauty where I was able to observe our feathered friends of the Great Blue Heron and Western Gull variety fishing on my evening bike ride. I also have a new camera with a zoom lense, so plan to go back tomorrow and see if I can catch any footage of these birds taking prey in their natural environment. Hopefully I'll be lucky!
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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Fallenfox » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:07 am

A clip from the waterfront in Amsterdam; this heron is quite content in gulping a large rat down alive so long as there is water nearby to wash it down.



GBBG wrote:I've recently moved to an area with a lot of natural beauty where I was able to observe our feathered friends of the Great Blue Heron and Western Gull variety fishing on my evening bike ride. I also have a new camera with a zoom lense, so plan to go back tomorrow and see if I can catch any footage of these birds taking prey in their natural environment. Hopefully I'll be lucky!


Awesome, I hope you can share some clips with us!
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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby GBBG » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:25 am

Hopefully. No luck the other day, and today it was cold. Maybe I'll make it this weekend. I'm planning on going on a daytrip to photograph birds so hopefully I'll get something. :-D
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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Fallenfox » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:06 am

Here's a nice video of a large fish putting up a great fight before finally (near the end of the video) succumbing to the vigorous gulping of the Egret.

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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Fallenfox » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:11 am

Another good video of a GBH nabbing and quickly swallowing a large fish which thrashes pretty nicely in his gullet. Cool looking feather fluffing action after the swallow, too.

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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Fallenfox » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:43 pm

A big meal for a grey heron; it's a thick-bodied carp and it's not an easy swallow. The fish doesn't wriggle much until the 3 minute mark when it is almost fully down the bird's throat.

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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Fallenfox » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:42 am

Best video in a while - a Grey Heron takes two wriggly fish quickly and voraciously! This heron is a skillful feeder - watch as he catches the second fish by the tail and deftly maneuvers it around to swallow it headfirst.

These videos are so satisfying and fun to watch. :D

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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby GBBG » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:27 pm

Yeah, that one is hot. I bet the first fish was still alive when it swallowed the second one! :)
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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Fallenfox » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:38 am

Here's a nice short video of what looks like a young gull of some type eating a live (stunned) fish up close and with good audio.

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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby GBBG » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:08 am

I don't know what kind of bird that is, looks kind of gull like but is not a gull. I love the audio, the clip is super hot. My favorite part is the little 'glck' sound as he swallows. It slips so nicely down too. :)

Sorry I haven't delivered on promised footage earlier. It's been busy lately. I'll probably have a try again this weekend.
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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby GBBG » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:24 pm

I think that bird is a cormorant. I did some searching and found lots of nice footage of them being hungry birds :). They're pretty cool and seem to be really skilled at greedily gulping their food quickly. They're one of the few birds that seem to be able to match seagulls in this respect.

This is my favorite: http://digg.com/video/cormorant-eats-fish-fast

There's also these:

Nice throat bulge slipping quickly down at 0:06


Flip and swallow at 0:42. Kind of funny as some lady says "swallow" in the background as the bird gulps the fish down :-D :gulp:

A big meal at 0:04


And lastly, this one which I also love: https://www.newsflare.com/video/16852/a ... s-huge-eel

Here the bird gulps down an eel really quickly around 0:46. You can see the outline of the eel writhing as it slides down the bird's throat!
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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Purrloin » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:29 pm

GBBG wrote:I don't know what kind of bird that is, looks kind of gull like but is not a gull. I love the audio, the clip is super hot. My favorite part is the little 'glck' sound as he swallows. It slips so nicely down too. :)

Sorry I haven't delivered on promised footage earlier. It's been busy lately. I'll probably have a try again this weekend.

Anhingas are just as good at gulping things. Their throats are insanely stretchy.
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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby GBBG » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:35 am

Here's an article with some cool pictures in it:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... -gulp.html
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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Fallenfox » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:44 am

At this point I don't even know how I manage to find such high quality material.

A GBH gulps down a live sunfish about a foot away from the camera. We get a nice closeup shot as the fish wriggles gently down his throat. There's even a pleasant soundtrack, what more could we ask for? :-D

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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby GBBG » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:13 pm

Yeah, that is pretty cool. Youtube is a treasure trove.
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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Fallenfox » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:05 pm

Here's a small heron eating a fish half his size! After he gets it down the struggles of the fish inside him gyrate his whole body.

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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Fallenfox » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:46 am

Another great video from RedJered, a nature photographer. Slow motion capture of a heron eating a live vole.
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Re: Herons/pelicans swallowing live prey

Postby Fallenfox » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:43 pm

I love seeing land-based prey being eaten by waterbirds. Sometimes herons actually seem to try to "drink" in the grass to wash their prey down, despite no water being present - the "sip-and-gulp" swallowing technique obviously being an instinctual reaction. It isn't shown in this video though of a GBH swallowing a wriggling vole accompanied by dramatic music.

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