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Indian Pond Heron with prey

Ardeola grayii

Description:

The bird is in breeding plumage. It is mostly white. Especially when it takes flight the white wings dazzle. The back is sort of maroon. It has a white tuft of feathers on its head reminiscent of what is called a tiki in Bangla. The fish? I think it is a Tilapia.

Habitat:

We are flooded...there is water everywhere. The waterbodies near my house have breached their banks. This water, rainwater and drain water have all come together to form a confluent sheet of water that is everywhere...on the street, in my garden...almost inside my home! Of course the fish are going on excursions to places unknown which includes down the gullet of an opportunistic avian predator fishing on the flooded street.

Notes:

This is also a post that shows the defensive behaviour of the prey....it has raised its spiky dorsal fins in an attempt to hurt the predator and to stop being swallowed. Didn't work! Stay at home, it is safer.

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9 Comments

jazz.mann
jazz.mann 3 months ago

interesting how different the two examples look side-by-side in the feed

jazz.mann
jazz.mann 3 months ago

must be nice to live in a place like that--I am not so lucky and have to travel to experience what are to me exciting spottings. I wonder if you agree that this spotting I ID'd as a juvenile Indian Pond Heron is correct: https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/31...

SukanyaDatta
SukanyaDatta 3 months ago

@Neil, your python discovery and relocation story is simply wonderful...we have venomous guys around so, carbolic acid is placed in small containers and tucked away in corners where these may slither in...the fumes or smell keep them at bay...pretty regular monsoon activity especially if water logging means they have been flooded out if their homes and are looking for shelter. The acid dries up over time...soil or water is not contaminated. We have MASSIVE plastic pollution....I wish we could ban plastic stuff, but not possible, I know. Thanks for the conversation...and all your lively notes.

SukanyaDatta
SukanyaDatta 3 months ago

Jazz.mann...I just happened to be in my balcony because mobile reception is best here....just lucky I guess....mobile in left hand...grabbed the camera in my right...took 3 or 4 shots...nothing if good quality but it was fun. Thanks.

jazz.mann
jazz.mann 3 months ago

A shame it seems so many places are either drought or flood nowadays, within nothing moderate in between. good luck. I uploaded a spotting of a juvenile Indian pond heron from Sri Lanka, but wasn't lucky enough to see it with a fish in its mouth!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 3 months ago

That's a good theory about ingesting spiky fish. I've seen darters catch and consume fish, and most fish have been impaled and beaten into submission. A cast iron gullet no doubt helps with any spiky resistance. Carbolic acid time? Our flood water was heavily contaminated, as was the residue left behind, and no animal wanted anything to do with it except for the hundreds of cane toads I spotted. Here's one of the more interesting refugees I found.... https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/22...

SukanyaDatta
SukanyaDatta 3 months ago

@ jazz.mann. Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the spotting.
@ Neil, Bull shark in flooded areas around houses...5 feet water inside the house...Australia doesn't do things by halves...Hats off to you!
I have had maybe two inches of water inside my living area...promise I will NEVER crib again! And only had experience of snakes in and around the house...every monsoon is carbolic acid time!
Oh! and I have a theory about how birds ingest spiky fish...maybe they hold it in their beaks till it dies following which the fins will relax and then it is gulp down time.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 3 months ago

How herons manage to get spiky fish down their throat baffles me! Wonderful spotting, Sukanya, but under such dire circumstances! I've been through a flood even myself. Brisbane was flooded in 2011, and I had 5 feet of water through my house. A messy job to clean up afterwards, and we were told to be on the lookout for bull sharks as they frequent the river, and may have been trapped by backyard fences. I found it particularly interesting to see how animals and insects reacted to the event. Fingers crossed your home stays unaffected!

jazz.mann
jazz.mann 3 months ago

AWESOME!!!

SukanyaDatta
Spotted by
SukanyaDatta

Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Spotted on Jun 23, 2021
Submitted on Jun 23, 2021

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