Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
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"Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge"
"Great Blue Heron ... looking for a meal ... May 26, 2007"
The following events played out in front of the bird blind on the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge's "S" Unit Auto Tour. A Great Blue Heron arrived looking for a meal and the birds in the area defended their young. The Heron first eyed the baby Coots near the blind (see Trip Log photos) and was charged by the Coot adults. The Heron then changed location from near the blind to near the edge of the lake where he/she was attacked by a male Red-winged Blackbird and chased away. The Heron finally landed at various locations in the lake where eventually he battled a Grebe protecting his/her half-grown chick (???). The chick lost.

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... looking for a meal ... May 26, 2007, Trip Log

The Great Blue Heron first was eyeing the Coot babies and was charged by both adult Coots. They drove him away.

Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron, in grasses, eyeing some baby Coots. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron battling adult Coots. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Closeup of head, Great Blue Heron battling adult Coots. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.


... changing locations ...

Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.


... Red-winged Blackbird attack ...

The Red-winged Blackbird picked up the fight soon after the Heron left the Coots. The Blackbird swirled, dive-bombed, and attacked the head of the Heron. When the Heron took flight the Blackbird continued the attack from behind, including landing on the Heron's back.

Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Red-winged Blackbird attacking Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Red-winged Blackbird attacking Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Red-winged Blackbird attacking Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Chasing, Red-winged Blackbird attacking Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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On back, Red-winged Blackbird attacking Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.


... changing locations ...

Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.


... chased by Coot ...

While trying to land in the lake (Rest Lake), various birds hurried in to do battle (Coots, Ruddy Ducks, Mallards, and Pied-billed Grebes), trying to drive the Heron from the area.

Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron being chased by a Coot. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.


... and Grebe ...

Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Pied-billed Grebe trying to scare Great Blue Heron away. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.


... finding a meal ...

While the adult Grebe spashed, dove, and switched sides around the Heron, the Heron suddenly dove under the water and came back up with a young Grebe. The adult Grebe continued the attack but with no happy ending.

Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron, Pied-billed Grebe capture. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron with catch, still fighting Grebe (on right). Note adult Grebe just in view on right edge of image. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron with young Grebe. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
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Great Blue Heron with young Grebe. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.


... eating ...

Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, May 26, 2007.


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May 2007