[Tweeters] Re: hand feeding herons

Martin Muller MartinMuller at msn.com
Tue Dec 14 07:12:12 PST 2004

Greetings tweeters,

Back in my native Holland, Gray Herons (Great Blue Heron equivalent) in suburban Amsterdam were getting more numerous back in the early 80s. In my neighborhood lots of people would fish along canals. Gray Herons would also fish the same canals and it was not unusual to see a heron take up position next to a fishing person. As soon as a small fish was landed by the human the heron would move in to claim it. Since most of the fish were small and not meant for human consumption (let's not start on the merits of catching and releasing fish), many fish were donated to the herons. Within a couple of years it became very common practice, spreading like wildfire among the heron population. I have vivid memories of driving by a canal seeing widely spaced people sitting under huge black umbrellas in drizzly weather, each flanked by their own single heron.

Not sure if this is still going on, but since I will be visiting Holland next week, I'll check.

Not just trying to up the believe-it-or-not-factor; just telling you what could happen if people do start feeding the herons.

Martin Muller, Seattle
martinmuller at msn.com

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