Gilmer Free Press

Jeanette Riffle: Why Do Some Great Blue Herons Stay

The Free Press WV

We saw a great blue heron this week down in the creek behind us, and it was fishing. This is the first time we have seen one this late in the year. I looked in my bird book and read that some do stay behind and they starve during a harsh winter when water freezes over and they can’t get to the fish.  No one seems to know why some of them don’t fly south with the rest. Usually, they leave in September and October. I Googled them and found out that they like to hang around ponds where expensive koi and goldfish are present. We don’t have that here and really there aren’t that many fish in our creek anymore. We might find this one dead this winter if the creek freezes over for a long period of time.

I don’t remember seeing this type of bird when I was growing up. Our creek was deep though and this one out back is low enough in places for wading. We see a lot of wild life here.

One of these days we want to put up a wild life camera and see just what all is out there at night. Our dog barks at the creek bank a lot after dark. I saw a bear in someone’s yard on FB today. It was in my news feed. One of my friends caught a nuisance bear on camera early this morning. Their big lab barked and put it back into the woods. That tells me that the bears have not gone into hibernation, yet. It was no doubt foraging around looking for food. They try to load up before going to sleep for the winter.

Some of my relatives had a bear and a big one at that, right in the parking lot of the hotel where they were staying down at Gatlinburg, while on vacation this fall. It no doubt was a nuisance bear that had learned to associate people with food and had even learned how to open a door on a vehicle. Early one morning, it was making a commotion and they looked out a window and saw it in their car, in the back seat. Then it went to every vehicle in the parking lot and got into every unlocked one. 

One of my great nephews went out and yelled real loud and showed his teeth trying to look mean to the bear but it charged at him and sent him back in the hotel fast! Maybe it thought he would throw out some food, who knows. You can’t trust a hungry bear. I hope the DNR was called to come get it and relocate it. That was too close for comfort. I don’t think they will be going back to that area again.

Until next time, take care and God bless!

--> Thursday, December 06, 2018
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