GBH, Ground Squirrel, 5/24/21

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Vince Zauskey

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May 24, 2021, 4:25:48 PMMay 24
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While walking to the south end of Emigrant Lake on the paved path below the Issac Hill Cemetery earlier today I noticed a large bird fly in front of me towards the lake shore.  It was a Great Blue Heron with a juvenile California Ground Squirrel in its bill (smaller body and shorter tail than an adult ground squirrel).  It had the squirrel by the neck/shoulders and the rear legs and tail were still moving.

The GBH flew about 10' off the water with the squirrel in its bill to the opposite shoreline and stopped at the water's edge.  I watched it for about 5 minutes poking near its feet.  The GBH never swallowed the ground squirrel whole but picked at it several times before walking up the bank and flying to a different area around the shoreline.  First time I've seen a Great Blue Heron with any prey this large.  

Also saw 2 Caspian Tern perched along the south shoreline.  
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