No, I don’t believe it! He was so quiet, always kept to himself, never made any trouble!

heron portraitI, too, never paid much attention to these guys. Just stereotyped them as staid, boring, conservative. Certainly distinguished looking but mildly interesting at best.

Okay, maybe they could be a bit dapper at times.

heron close up

high strutting young heron

And they were certainly graceful in flight.

heron in flight

But in hindsight I know now that there were moments when had I been more alert I might have suspected a kind of Jekyll & Hyde scenario underneath that placid exterior.

Like when one of them had been drinking and began to flash in public.

heron close up

Or got a nasty mean look in their eye.

heron in stalking poseSo, let’s be honest.  There’s just no sugarcoating the dark side of their personality. They chase, they kill, they devour.

heron chasing crabheron catching crabheron eating crabheron with catfishNot convinced? Then consider the egregious case of my quiet unassuming neighbor who on the spur of a most opportune moment instantly devolved into a vicious unrepentant serial killer.

Momma Went a-Whorin’

A mallard duck down at Lake Morton left her 6 chicks to fend for themselves and sneaked off into the bushes for a quickie.

An alert otherwise bible-spouting law-abiding heron couldn’t believe his luck.  With a snatch so swift & savage I didn’t even have time to grab my camera, suddenly there were only 5 kids.

5 mallard chicksMomma was breathin’ heavy and didn’t pay no attention. But after watching the nice heron greedily gulp down the first duckling I quickly positioned myself close to the action and was ready for the second assault.

heron diving for duckAnd now there were only four.

heron with chickMomma was still spreadin’ her legs, why not try for a three-peat?

heron with chickWhen the mallard duck finished humpin’ in the bushes, her parenting chores, thanks to the polite heron in the grey flannel suit who always kept to himself & never made any trouble, had been cut in half.