In slow motion as it walks on stilt-like legs, the magnificent great blue heron seems oblivious to the bikers, hikers, horses mulling around. Then, with a burst of speed, it dips its head in a hole and comes up with a gopher in its beak. No matter that the gopher is bigger than the bird's head; the heron patiently waits for the animal to stop struggling before gulping it whole.
Great Blue Herons numbers have diminished as humans encroach on their territories. The species generally habits marshland or other shallow waters. One particular bird hangs out near the entrance to Cheeseboro National Park on Chesebro Rd. Watching the bird swallow the gopher, one might imagine how a few gulps of water might help wash down the bulge that seemed stuck in its long neck.
Hopefully this great blue doesn't make a poisoned rat its next meal. The bird chose an area to hunt that is next to private horse ranches along Chesebro Rd. in Old Agoura. The residents in Old Agoura are cautioned to not use poisoned bait to control rodents. The poisoned bait is known to cause secondary poisoning in raptors, such as the great blue heron, and other predatory animals.