Great Blue Heron at Crissy Field


Kenneth Stampfer
 

Last Thursday near the east end of the lagoon at Crissy Field, I came across this heron patiently stalking its prey.  I thought the victim was a young brown rat, though the tail is fairly short and looks a little furry.  Does anyone have a better ID?  After finishing off this one, the heron repeated the performance with another similar rodent about 10 minutes later.  I’ve recently moved here from Boston, where I’ve seen herons catching small fish and occasional frogs, but never a furry mammal of this size.


 

It’s eating a Botta’s Pocket Gopher (thomomyes sp)

It’s one of our last common native mammals. Much maligned for some reason by humans but our carnivores love them!!

:)


On Mar 29, 2021, at 10:50, Kenneth Stampfer via groups.io <kenstampfer@...> wrote:

Last Thursday near the east end of the lagoon at Crissy Field, I came across this heron patiently stalking its prey.  I thought the victim was a young brown rat, though the tail is fairly short and looks a little furry.  Does anyone have a better ID?  After finishing off this one, the heron repeated the performance with another similar rodent about 10 minutes later.  I’ve recently moved here from Boston, where I’ve seen herons catching small fish and occasional frogs, but never a furry mammal of this size.

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elizabethmadriz
 

Good morning, 

I once saw a heron eat 18 gophers at Kobbe and Upton streets in the Presidio. Another time at the lagoon a Redtail took a gopher away from a heron. The following week I saw a heron chase a redtail at the other end of the lagoon. 

Thank you for sharing your photos and experience.

On Monday, March 29, 2021, 10:50 AM, Kenneth Stampfer via groups.io <kenstampfer@...> wrote:

Last Thursday near the east end of the lagoon at Crissy Field, I came across this heron patiently stalking its prey.  I thought the victim was a young brown rat, though the tail is fairly short and looks a little furry.  Does anyone have a better ID?  After finishing off this one, the heron repeated the performance with another similar rodent about 10 minutes later.  I’ve recently moved here from Boston, where I’ve seen herons catching small fish and occasional frogs, but never a furry mammal of this size.


S. R. Gilbert
 

A pocket gopher, probably Thomomys bottae.
 
Many of us wish we had resident herons.
 
   Warm wishes,
      Sam R. Gilbert




On Monday, March 29, 2021, 10:50 AM, Kenneth Stampfer via groups.io <kenstampfer@...> wrote:

Last Thursday near the east end of the lagoon at Crissy Field, I came across this heron patiently stalking its prey.  I thought the victim was a young brown rat, though the tail is fairly short and looks a little furry.  Does anyone have a better ID?  After finishing off this one, the heron repeated the performance with another similar rodent about 10 minutes later.  I’ve recently moved here from Boston, where I’ve seen herons catching small fish and occasional frogs, but never a furry mammal of this size.
 


Donna Hayes
 

Gopher, yum!

We watched a great blue heron eat a gopher at Crissy Field years ago.  It had an audience of several people.  The kids in the group were very impressed.  May have made some birders that day!


On Mar 29, 2021, at 10:50 AM, Kenneth Stampfer via groups.io <kenstampfer@...> wrote:

Last Thursday near the east end of the lagoon at Crissy Field, I came across this heron patiently stalking its prey.  I thought the victim was a young brown rat, though the tail is fairly short and looks a little furry.  Does anyone have a better ID?  After finishing off this one, the heron repeated the performance with another similar rodent about 10 minutes later.  I’ve recently moved here from Boston, where I’ve seen herons catching small fish and occasional frogs, but never a furry mammal of this size.

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Kenneth Stampfer
 

Thanks to all for your comments.  Having lived in the northeast most of life I did not know gophers or how appetizing they must be to the herons.
Best,
Ken

On Mar 29, 2021, at 12:00 PM, S. R. Gilbert via groups.io <sgilbert524@...> wrote:

A pocket gopher, probably Thomomys bottae.
 
Many of us wish we had resident herons.
 
   Warm wishes,
      Sam R. Gilbert




On Monday, March 29, 2021, 10:50 AM, Kenneth Stampfer via groups.io <kenstampfer@...> wrote:

Last Thursday near the east end of the lagoon at Crissy Field, I came across this heron patiently stalking its prey.  I thought the victim was a young brown rat, though the tail is fairly short and looks a little furry.  Does anyone have a better ID?  After finishing off this one, the heron repeated the performance with another similar rodent about 10 minutes later.  I’ve recently moved here from Boston, where I’ve seen herons catching small fish and occasional frogs, but never a furry mammal of this size.