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Ken referred to this bird as his ‘familiar’. Most evenings when he was surf fishing in Florida, a Great Blue Heron would join Ken, waiting for a piece of bait or a small fish or some other tasty morsel. The bird was quite tame and would walk up to within five or six feet of Ken. It had obviously done this before with other anglers. It could tell when Ken caught a fish and it seemed disapproving when Ken was not having good luck.

The plumage on the heron was fascinating and easily studied at close range. I never before noticed the red feathers on the ‘elbows’ (do birds have elbows?) or the black streaking on the front of the neck and I’ve look at lots of Great Blue Herons over the years. The red feathers must be part of the wing coverts or possibly the alula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bird would poke around to find his own food when fishing was slow

 

It took the catch to the water to rinse it before swallowing it whole

 

 

 

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