HIGHLAND PARK — Rebecca Peterson-Fisher was walking her dogs through Sycamore Grove Park last week when she was surprised to see what park regulars said was a Great Blue Heron strolling around the grounds. The same regulars, an elderly couple, said the heron comes to the park to hunt for gophers just about every morning. Said Peterson-Fisher:
They said they had seen it spear a gopher with its beak and eat it. One of them said when it walks like Michael Jackson it is gopher-hunting, and it is an expert gopher-hunter. I had never heard of a heron eating gophers but I Googled it later and there are some videos on YouTube of herons eating gophers. Who knew?”
Hmmm. Gopher-eating Herons? The Eastsider was dubious but also ran across numerous references on the web, including at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, about the herons eating pocket gophers and other small mammals. Anyone familiar with Sycamore Grove Park knows you don’t have to walk very far before coming across a gopher hole, which must make this park a popular sport for a hungry heron.
Peterson-Fisher is now going to spend more mornings at the park. “I think I’ll go more now in the hopes of seeing the heron catch a gopher.”