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Heron: Goliath

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Jay
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Heron: Goliath

Unread postby Jay » Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:19 pm

Goliath Heron
Ardea goliath


Description: Largest heron in the world measuring 135-150cm tall
Habitat: found along estuaries, rivers, marshes, lakes, and intertidal zones.
Food: prefers larger fish, “skewers” them with its bill.
Roberts 7 says: “usually solitary. Very wary of humans.

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Last edited by Jay on Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bert
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Unread postby bert » Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:17 am

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Lake Panic Birdhide.
Very good place to observe them.

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Unread postby Elsa » Mon Sep 11, 2006 5:56 pm

ImageLarge

Wonder if anyone has seen the Goliath holding its wings in such a way, not sure if it was sunbathing or drying them. :?
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bert
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Unread postby bert » Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:38 pm

See the grey herons do this in our country all the time
I go for sunbathing. Our grey herons actually open their wings to let the insects eat away all the smaller lice etc. Suppose this big guy does the same

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Unread postby Elsa » Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:59 pm

That is an interesting theory Bert, this bird used to come to the same spot most mornings, in the Crocodile River but this was the only time we saw it do that with its wings.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:22 am

Seen them @ Skukuza from the restaurant. And also saw one from the bridge over the sabie river near lower sabie.
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Unread postby leopardspotter » Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:20 pm

Here's a pic taken at Kannidood:
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Is it not shielding the water with the shadow to reduce glare?

mmm... I dont think so Niknak, some birds (Black Heron) do that when fishing. But the Goliath Heron doesn't seem to be fishing in mine or Elsa's pic's.

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:24 am

Its probably worthwhile to go check out the nest building Goliath @ Lake Panic for thsoe who wants to see this lovely bird.
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Lower Sabie sighting

Unread postby wilmaw » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:04 am

It seems the one at Lower Sabie bridge is a local! We visit quite regularly (about 1ce a month?) and these days it seems to always be there. I've thought about naming it, feels like "an old friend"!
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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:55 pm

Pardon the poor quality of the pix. As usual when the action took place when I was not ideally set up to record the moment. Not to miss out on the kill a point-and-shoot camera was used attached to the eyepiece of a spotting scope set at maximum zoom - about equivalent to a 6000mm lense on a dslr! The bird was about 300 m away!
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The series of pix show the capability of herons in general and the goliath in this specific case to swallow prey that seems impossibly large. This was achieved by the heron without any signs of distress. In fact, if you look carefully the heron seems to be carrying an expression of satisfaction AND is hunting again immediately after having swallowed this huge meal! No meal is refused and sated is not in the bird's nature...

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Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:16 pm

Saraf,
I think we saw the same bird.
I went over in my more "big five days"

but with me was my daughter's boyfriend of the moment.

He was so excited by this "bloody bird", that I had to stop and look.

He really gave me a special gift, because I had to slow down for a change.
It is still magic for me.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Unread postby Elsa » Wed Aug 01, 2007 4:13 pm

Elsa wrote:Image

Wonder if anyone has seen the Goliath holding its wings in such a way, not sure if it was sunbathing or drying them. :?


I was watching a the 50 50 programme today where they featured a photo of a G heron exactly like mine and Leopard Spotter's and the explanation given as to why the bird was doing this was that it was using its wings as a kind of shield to reflect the sun up and create a sort of warm cocoon around its body. :D
If I remember correctly it was fairly early morning during winter when my pic was taken.
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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Aug 01, 2007 4:39 pm

Wow, unusual pic of a nice bird, one I always look out for.
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Unread postby Johann » Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:17 pm

I saw a small piece of a doccie on the American or was it Alaskan (can't remember) Condor over the past weekend on National Geographic. The Condor did exactly the same thing. Like Elsa said it was to increase the heat captured by the body.
Last edited by Johann on Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:11 pm

Of unusual poses... this GH was sitting on its haunches!

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