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Ron Fredrick | profile | all galleries >> Herons, Egrets and Ibises >> Great Blue Herons >> Hungry Great Blue Heron__Slow American Bullfrog tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Hungry Great Blue Heron__Slow American Bullfrog | Great Blue Heron - Grooming And Flexing By A Yoga Master

Hungry Great Blue Heron__Slow American Bullfrog

NOTE FOR THE SQUEAMISH: If you have a more than an average affection for frogs, you may not want to view this sequence.
This series of shots was taken from the Peavine trail in Prescott, Az. In May 2006, in the mid-morning, a Great Blue Heron flew into the area and landed near the shoreline with a very large bullfrog in it's bill. Even though I've seen GBH's swallow very large pocket gophers, the frog looked enormous to me. Enormous as in, "How will the GBH ever be able to swallow that!?!". I captured most of the relatively short sequence over the next minute or two, and it still amazes me whenever I view the images. As you see towards the end of the sequence, the GBH put the frog down in shallow water and shook it rapidly. It then put it down in shallow water on the other side and speared it very violently. I don't know if the second spearing was "practice" or if it was just "tenderizing" it. But shortly thereafter, it was "down the hatch". The appearance of the GBH in the last two images gives no hint that it has just swallowed such a large meal. From what I find online, the American Bullfrog can be up to 18" long (10" legs) and weigh up to 1.5 pounds. I don't know how long or how heavy this bullfrog was, but I'm guessing it must have been close to the upper end of the scale.

Note: The GBH was near the outside edge of the range of my 100-400 lens, so the images are heavily cropped and are not as sharp as I would have liked them to be. However, moving closer would have caused the heron to take his meal somewhere else and I would have missed the sequence entirely.
g3/70/694070/3/66784719.Fq4oU4NN.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784721.ZEYPqRpy.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784722.vAwHZbQg.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784723.dy6rhxp2.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784724.wxEfOo4T.jpg
g3/70/694070/3/66784726.yhYVStIG.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784728.Ntn4Nty8.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784730.8m0q5HuK.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784732.UbPpCDtM.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784735.ryupIaen.jpg
g3/70/694070/3/66784738.NVKDG5BP.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784740.C0uWaxL6.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784742.WG2an0Sd.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784744.14LjmYqP.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784746.QCACaAfp.jpg
Ready to strike frog
Ready to strike frog
Quick strike!!
Quick strike!!
g3/70/694070/3/66784753.hHk1AgVs.jpg Starting to swallow frog
Starting to swallow frog
g3/70/694070/3/66784759.YMZ78W9l.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784761.zutIpmkw.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784764.y0rbJK14.jpg Washing bill?
Washing bill?
g3/70/694070/3/66784769.Aj0NMORH.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784770.xvV260im.jpg g3/70/694070/3/66784772.tF8KEqhQ.jpg Does it look like it just swallowed an enormous Bullfrog?
Does it look like it just swallowed an enormous Bullfrog?