Great Blue Heron becomes NYC Hero for eating a big, wet rat
The heroic bird stares without blinking as he ponders his next meal.Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)
The heroes of a city come in strange forms. For example, no one could have expected a humble alligator with the nickname Chance of the snapper would arrive in the summer of 2019 to become one of Chicago’s most remarkable citizens. And surely no one would have thought that New York City would find itself in awe of a great blue heron that literally took a bite (or beak and swallow) from the rat population last Sunday.
The as-yet-unnamed blue heron became famous when it swallowed a soaked rat while adhering to an extremely low Sunday brunch standard in front of the camera. The above video was tweeted by Manhattan bird alertwho fulfilled the promise of the title of his account by posting footage of the heron enjoying a soaked rat carcass in Central Park and helping control the city’s rodent population.
“It only took the Great Blue Heron a few seconds to lift the killed rat out of the water and swallow it.”a tweet dutifully explains before we show ourselves exactly how that looks in practice.
In an article in honor of the city’s new pest control hero, Gothamist spoke to David Barrett, the man behind the report, about his captivating short documentary. He spotted the bird “on Sunday just before 10 am” on “the east side of Central Park Pond” and explains that “it is unusual to see a great blue heron eating a rat and something I have never seen before even though I have been observing nature for over 10 years on most days. “
We also learn that the New York City Hero Bird is “probably very young” because of the dark color of its crown and that it belongs to a species that, like our own, “eats whatever it can kill and swallow”.
The bird’s youth is good news because the heron’s career as an iconic pest eater is only just beginning. For 2021, however, the Pied Piper should almost be finished with its work. Great blue herons migrate south in the fall, where they hopefully get together to discuss all the weird shit they’ve been eating and maybe share the news that wet rats are pretty tasty.
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