The Herons of Griggs Reservoir

We’ve done a fair amount of paddling on Griggs now that we are able to do it during the week when, with the exception of a few rowers and fishing boats, things are amazingly quiet.

If there is open water, the Great Blue Herons are a fairly common sight just about any time of the year. They usually stalk their food from perches near the shore. Some will let you paddle right by and seem scarcely perturbed while others voice a loud objection as they take flight. Because of their numbers, it isn’t uncommon to see them catch a fish, some of which are 6 to 8 inches long, then swallow it head first in one long gulp.

Green Herons seem more common late in the summer, although they are around spring, summer and fall. Their name seems to be a misnomer as they don’t have that much green in their plumage. If they think they aren’t seen, you can get fairly close before they take fight. One time while paddling in Clendenning Reservoir I almost touched one with the bow of my kayak. I hadn’t seen it! An interesting behavior observed when they perch in the top of a tree and make repetitive loud shrill calls. Are thy calling for a mate?

The Black Crown Night Heron is also fairly common at Griggs. Since they are active at night, they spend most of their day perched in trees near the water, usually in coves. Unlike the other Herons you usually have to go looking for them but the view is always worth it, they are a beautiful bird. One of the most amazing sights we’ve had was one evening seeing eight Black Crown Night Heron’s perched on the floats near the dam.

Finally, another bird we see while paddling Griggs, while not a Heron, is the Great Egret. Every time we see one it seems like a bird that should only be found in places like Florida but here it is in Ohio. They are usually found perched in trees along the shore or wading in shallow water looking for their next meal.

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2 Comments on “The Herons of Griggs Reservoir

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