A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Watching a big bird at Periwinkle Park

Written April 30th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

In Perwinkle Park, a great blue heron hopes to spot a snack in the churning stream.

On a leisurely ride down the Periwinkle Bikepath Saturday, a great blue heron caught my eye. So I stopped a few minutes to watch.

The big bird was hanging around the weir or shallow dam that holds back the creek to form the pond in the middle of the park. First the heron was down by the edge, patiently waiting and occasionally dipping its beak into the flow to grab something.

Then it flew to the opposite bank. And finally it decided it would try its luck on top of the weir itself, as you can see below:

Here’s what the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says of these handsome and stately birds, the largest herons in North America:

“Great blue herons frequent many habitats from shallow areas of marshes, lakes, streams, and oceans, where they feed on fish, amphibians, and aquatic invertebrates; to pastures and dry fields where they hunt for rodents, primarily during the winter. Herons are highly adaptable and may be found hunting in urban settings such as ponds of city parks.”

City parks indeed. It aptly describes the bird that’s the star of this piece.

ODFW says the great blue heron is “a fairly common to common resident throughout the state.” Common maybe, but still a surprising and welcome sight when you spot one in the middle of town. (hh)

5 responses to “Watching a big bird at Periwinkle Park”

  1. Connie says:

    Ah! My buddy is back! He was gone for the winter. He favors the end of the weir closest to the bike path. He silently watches and waits and isn’t bothered by the passersby unless they try to approach him.

    He is successful at fishing there as I have seen him with a fish in his beak then swallow it down.

  2. CHEZZ says:

    Hasso, thank you for a brief Great Blue Heron and Water Music respite! And, Happy May Day!

  3. Rhea Graham says:

    What a beauty, thank you for sharing. Mom and I just saw one last week.

  4. Emma Eaton says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Jeannette Billings says:

    Thank You for a beautiful look at nature!


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