birding-aus Swamp Harrier prey

Subject: birding-aus Swamp Harrier prey
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 14:39:57 +1000

This didn't appear to get through the other day so .....

In the 1980's I saw a Marsh Harrier attack a White-faced Heron in the
estuary at Red Rock (north of Coffs Harbour NSW).  After driving the heron
to the sand flats, the harrier attempted several time to carry the heron
off by holding the struggling bird by the head but the heron kept breaking
free.  The commotion attracted two Whistling Kites that kept the harrier
occupied while the heron retreated under a small, isolated mangrove.  The
harrier left the lost cause and the two kites then attempted to get at the,
by now well protected, heron under the mangrove.  Once satisfied that the
kites were also working on a lost cause (I am not one to deprive anything
of a decent lunch) I went in for a closer look.  On capture the heron had
several puncture wounds around the head but nothing serious (other than
very high levels of adrenaline) and flew off when released.

What a great story to tell the wife and kids back at the nest!

David Geering

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