An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Great Blue Heron Casting Pellet

great blue heron casting pellet 205Great Blue Herons swallow their prey whole, which means they consume not only flesh, but also bones and fur (if they eat a mouse or a vole). They are able to digest almost all of the prey that they eat due to acidic stomach secretions that are capable of softening even bones. However, they are not able to digest hair, or fur. This indigestible matter is formed into pellets which Great Blue Herons regurgitate – much like owls and many other birds.

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7 responses

  1. Great picture! What fun!

    April 30, 2014 at 10:19 am

  2. Fantastic picture and interesting post. Thanks!

    April 30, 2014 at 12:03 pm

  3. Margo Nutt

    You capture the MOST amazing photographs!

    April 30, 2014 at 1:32 pm

  4. Marie Kirn

    Stunning, my friend Mary!!! You are a wonder. AND you are a mother. Let’s get together ASAP. Give me a call when you are back. Love. Love. Marie

    April 30, 2014 at 1:45 pm

  5. Penny March

    What were the preliminary neck movements prior to the actual casting? You obviously had full warning. I watched 3 community nests in a pine in SC with some eggs hatched (gug, gug, gug) but did not see a casting either above or on the ground.

    April 30, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    • As I recall, there really weren’t any (neck movements). Just all of a sudden its head went down and beak opened.

      April 30, 2014 at 8:23 pm

  6. Great capture!

    April 30, 2014 at 7:58 pm

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