…the biggest heron on earth. At 4-5 feet tall and sporting a wingspan of over 7 feet, it is aptly named: Goliath Heron.
Primarily found in sub-Saharan Africa, this wading bird is usually found alone in lakes, swamps, and wetlands. There are small populations of Ardea goliath in parts of Asia too.
Their diet consists mostly of fish, typically 2-3 big fish a day; but they will also eat frogs, lizards, snakes, and other small reptiles and fish. Due to their large size they are sometimes slower than many birds, rendering them vulnerable to kleptoparasitism (stolen food). Predators however (like hyenas and jackals), cannot easily prey on them because they have height perspective and can take flight unharmed.
Many of us bird and wildlife lovers enjoy observing and photographing herons all over the world. Their deliberate hunting is a joy to behold, their peaceful ways and sleek beauty, pleasing and attractive. Fortunately most of us consider every day Earth Day. Cheers….
Photo credit: Athena Alexander