Bird Intelligence -- The Green Heron
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The green heron is common inhabitant of suburban lakes and ponds in central Florida.  Although poking around in marshes with a long beak may not sound like an intellectually challenging task, I heard a fascinating story from a reliable first-hand source that suggests these birds are more intelligent that they appear.

A Florida resident developed the habit of feeding crumbs to an amiable heron living near his apartment.  Watching the bird closely, he noticed the bird would not always eat the bread -- but would carry it to a pond and throw it into the water.  When fish came to feed, the heron would calmly eat the fish -- a meal evidently much more appealing to her palate.  If crumbs drifted away, the bird would retrieve and reposition them.  Similar activity has been noticed by other herons using insects or even feathers for bait -- remarkable reasoning ability in a bird!

  Green Heron

I would appreciate E-Mail from others who might have witnessed this activity.  Send your evidence to feedback@BirdMinds.com . [Note: Six months after this was posted, a Birdminds visitor gave us this link to this amazing youtube video!]

The green heron above was photographed in late May near the Belle Meade estate in Nashville.  The bird was hunting fish on a rock in a small stream running between several buildings in a secluded location. After noticing him one afternoon, I returned a day later with a camera and photographed him hunting again on the same rock.  It is pleasant to think that these beautiful creatures have found ways of adapting to human civilization.

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I took this picture behind the my house in Lake County, FL. I took it with an old Olympus 4.3 pxl with a 10X zoom. I had no idea what it was. I finally found it on your site. Thanks for all your hard work and compilation of those birds.

Bill Overbay

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