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WELCOME TO HILTON HEAD! I’M THE GREAT BLUE HERON

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT ME ? SO GLAD YOU ASKED!

I AM NOT JUST ONE OF THE 60 OTHER VARIETIES YOU CAN FIND MUCKING AROUND FROM NORTH TO SOUTH AMERICA AND BEYOND. I HAVE VERY SPECIAL SKILLS AND LOVE TO BRAG, SO LET’S GET STARTED.

FIRST I HAVE SUCH AMAZING EYESIGHT THAT I CAN HUNT IN DAYLIGHT OR NIGHT.

SECOND I CAN MOVE WITH LIGHTENING SPEED FROM A STATUE STILL POSITION, IMPALING A FISH OR WHIP SNAPPING A SNAKE BEFORE IT EVEN KNOWS IT HAS BEEN PLUCKED FROM THE BRUSH. IT’S A SIGHT TO BEHOLD. NO, REALLY.

THIRD I AM AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY HUNTER! ON LAND OR WATER, SALT OR FRESH, MATTERS NOT TO ME. COME FOR A NATURE TOUR WITH CAPT. BYRON OR CAPT. CORY AND YOU’LL OBSERVE ME ENJOYING BOTH THE  SURF AND THE TURF BUFFET.

 I FEAST ON MICE, LIZARDS, BUGS, FROGS, CRABS, SHRIMP, SNAILS AND SNAKES, NOT TO MENTION OTHER SMALL BIRDS! I CAN STAB, PLUCK, SNAP, WHIP, SHAKE AND THROW MY PREY ON THE GROUND AS MANY TIMES AS IT TAKES BEFORE SAVORING THE FRESHEST OF FARES.

HOWEVER; THERE IS ONE DOWNSIDE. I MUST CONFESS THAT ONCE IN A WHILE ONE OF MY KIND TRIES TO SWALLOW A FISH THAT IS TOO BIG. IT CAN GET STUCK IN OUR LONG NECKS AND CHOKE US TO DEATH. SOO EMBARRASSING.. BUT..

BACK TO ME ! I AM A BIG BIRD, REACHING FOUR FEET HIGH WITH A SIX FOOT WINGSPAN. HOWEVER, LIKE ALL BIRDS, MY BONES ARE HOLLOW, SO I ONLY WEIGH FIVE TO SIX POUNDS. APPARENTLY, THIS WORKS OUT WELL  BECAUSE I CAN LIVE UP TO FIFTEEN TO TWENTY YEARS.. NOT BAD FOR A BIRD.

NOW FOR MY FAVORITE PART: MATING

I DEFINITELY HAVE THE DATING RITUAL DOWN! ALL I HAVE TO DO IS PICK A SAFE, STRONG NESTING SITE AT LEAST 100 FEET UP, THEN HANG OUT THERE AND THROW MY S-SHAPED NECK ALL THE WAY BACK SEVERAL TIMES. THE FEMALES CAN’T RESIST. I CHOOSE ONE TO PRESENT GIFTS OF NESTING MATERIALS AND SHE BEGINS AN INTRICATE WEAVING PROCESS. SOON 2-6 PALE BLUE EGGS ARE LAID IN THE NEST. NOT ONLY DO I TAKE TURNS KEEPING THEM COVERED UNTIL HATCHED, I ALSO SHARE FEEDING DUTIES, ALL THE TIME KEEPING PREDATORS AWAY..

WE HAVE HUNDREDS OF NEIGHBORS, 4-5 HUNDRED IN OUR HERONRY( LIKE NURSERY FOR YOU HUMANS). YOU SHOULD HEAR THE RACKET WE CAN MAKE WHEN A HAWK OR AN EAGLE COMES NEAR..IMAGINE HUNDREDS OF LOUD “BRRRAACCKKKING” NOISES. I GUARD MY NEST AND MY EATING TERRITORIES PROUDLY AND LOUDLY.

ANYWAY, THAT’S A PEEK INTO MY WORLD. NOW YOU KNOW ENOUGH TO TEST THE GUIDES! OUR HOPE AT NATIVE SON ADVENTURES IS THAT THE MORE YOU KNOW ABOUT OUR NATURAL COMMUNITY THE MORE YOU WILL WANT TO PROTECT IT.

SO PLEASE, HITCH A RIDE WITH BYRON OR CORY AND COME SAY, ” BRAACCKKK! ”

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