Friday, March 13, 2009

Look Alike?

When you're hunting for dinner even the crazy photographer doesn't bother you!

This White Faced Heron, photographed on the beach at Kaikoura on the South Island of New Zealand, at first glance looks very much like our own Great Blue Heron.  In truth, though, they are not even related.  These smaller, dainty, look-alikes have been revealed by DNA testing to be more closely related to the egrets than to the herons--a somewhat confusing situation since the name implies that it is a heron.   

White Faced Herons can be found throughout most of Australasia.  They were self introduced to New Zealand in the late 1940s.  

This fellow was intently hunting along the sand dunes, looking for his favorite food of small aquatic creatures, such as insects, frogs and small reptiles, and didn't seem disturbed at all by the crazy photographer laying on her belly in the sand. 

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