Friday, January 11, 2013

Little Blue Heron

A Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea, feeding on fish and crustaceans in the Mission River.


Hanny said...

What great colors! Is this bird similar to a flamingo, where the coloring comes from the diet?

The Wayward Hawaiian said...

I found a heron/egret page and here's what they said: "The Little Blue Heron's diverse diet typically includes fishes, amphibians, and insects, the proportions of which differ among feeding areas. Fish predominate in coastal east North America; in other areas it appears to be a frog specialist, in other places crabs or shrimp (Miranda and Collazo 1997, Smith 1997). Invertebrates are important in the diet, especially crayfish, shrimp, and crabs but also isopods, worms, crabs, beetles, flies, dragonflies, bugs. Prey taken typically are bottom dwelling or slow moving species."

From the sound of it, the diet varies a lot depending on what they have available. Since they're all eating different things, I'm guessing that the color is probably not linked to diet, at least not to the degree that it is in flamingos. A fascinating thought though.