Grey Heron feeds on fish

on 23rd December 2009

“On Sunday, 6th December 2009, while conducting a survey along the Sungei Ulu Pandan, Serin Subaraj and I observed a Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) fishing along the bank.

“I managed a few photos of its method. It would wait patiently until its prey came close enough. It would then stab at it and if successful, it would then adjust its grip of the fish in its bill (above left). It then seemed to wash the fish (above right) before swallowing it (below left). Finally, after fully swallowing its prey, it dipped its bill back into the water (below right). I was not too sure whether it was washing its bill or having a sip of water.

“The Grey Heron populations in Singapore fell drastically in the early 1990s, after the destruction of their nesting grounds in Kranji (to make way for the TCS station). However, due to successful breeding in Johor, Malaysia, they made a comeback in the late 1990s and continue to be successful, due to a couple of seemingly safe breeding colonies being established locally in recent years.

“Today, this heron can be seen in many parts of Singapore, to be appreciated by both naturalist and layman alike.”

Subaraj Rajathurai
10th December 2009

An earlier post showed a Grey Heron similarly washing the fish before swallowing it. It the dipped its bill into the water five times to drink before moving off.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

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