"A Tale of a Great Blue Heron"

great blue
                            heronIt was mid November, a warm fall day, shuttles were no longer running in Zion, so the roads were absolutely crammed full of cars coming and going. When we passed the South Entrance station, we were greeted with a long, long line of vehicles waiting to cross over the bridge heading "Up Canyon". In the middle of the intersection by the bridge, work crews were preparing to lay asphalt. There was lots of heavy equipment. Lots of noise, people, cars, confusion, and not more than one hundred feet away, on the diversion of the river, stood a Great Blue Heron. It was a picture of serenity in the midst of man-made turmoil.

The water spilling over the barrier of the Virgin River offered the perfect opportunity for this Great Blue Heron to nab any prey slipping over the edge. Food was much more important to that Heron than the disorder around him.

Great Blue Herons feed on most anything our rivers and streams offer. Small fish, amphibians, aquatic insects, etc. They catch their food by standing motionless, and then, making a rapid stab into the water with their sword-like bill. With their long legs they are able to feed in deeper waters than other herons. Great Blue Herons are here year round, and the chances of seeing one is very good. On your next trip to Zion, enjoy everything the Park has to offer, but see if you can spot a Great Blue Heron. You will always find them close to water. Other places to look are Tonaquint Park, wet marshy areas, and any river or reservoir.

Brenda Rusnell is the artist for the Great Blue Heron. If you have questions about birds, the upcoming Christmas Bird Count, or our talented Artist, call 435 673-0996.

Home - Red Cliffs Audubon