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The Herons Of Ballyyahoo

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heron standing in a tree - illustrating a children's nature story page from the magical town of Ireland's BallyyahooHERONS IN THE TREES

When Ballyyahooians walk down the lane towards the Good Luck Pier they pass a tiny forest of really tall trees. Sometimes there are grey and white herons sitting high up on the very top of the tallest tree, or flying back and forth between the trees and the rocky shore.

They sometimes fly from the trees towards the shore. When they land they usually stand perched on rocks, almost in the water. This is so they can catch fish in their bills.

When they’re fishing they stay completely still and it is hard to see the grey herons against the grey of the rocks as they blend in. I think the fish probably find them hard to see as well – probably not until the herons strike out and catch in their bills.

heron on top of a tree poised about to fly llustrating a children's nature story page from the magical town of Ireland's BallyyahooTheir bills are really long and pointed, almost like spears and the fish don’t stand a chance.  The herons don’t just eat fish though, they also eat frogs and insects and sometimes small mammals like mice.

They move really quickly and if you make too much noise, or make a sudden movement they will flap their strong, wide wings and fly away at great speed. So, if you see some and want to get a really good look at them – be quiet and be still.

two herons on a tree llustrating a children's nature story page from the magical town of Ireland's BallyyahooThere seems to be an entire family, or a small colony in the tall trees of Ballyyahoo but they are very hard to count as they keep moving from place to place.

Cori, the hen woman, who spends a lot of time walking in the Witchy Woods  has spotted the herons flying high above the trees there, which is not surprising as there are lots of trees there and less people walking about to disturb them.

They make quite a lot of noise especially when there is a few of them. The sound they make is quite loud and not a bit sweet. They actually sound a little bit like our own Ballyyahoo Squawk birds but they are a little bit more croaky.

For some fun stories from Ballyyahoo click here.

 

 

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