[CT Birds] Milford Pt (before all the excitement)

Roy Harvey rmharvey at snet.net
Sun Aug 1 23:54:34 EDT 2010

I spent a couple of hours early this morning up the tower observing the marsh behind the coastal center at Milford Point.  Only two observations seem worth mentioning.  First, my high count for Osprey was 10; four on the nest proper, one on the stuff to hold the camera, one on the lower perch near by, one way to the west on a post or something in the water, and three on the beach at the mouth of where the marsh empties into the river.

The second was close looks at a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron that found a full-sized crab, a "regular" crab not one of the fiddler crabs.  The crab was way too big to be swallowed in one piece.  The heron repeatedly picked it up, manipulated it in its beak, dropped it, pounded on it, picked it up... over and over.  The first accomplishment was to get rid of all the claws and most of the legs.  Then it pierced the top of the shell leaving a large hole.  After at least five minutes, maybe ten, it managed to break the crab up enough to swallow something like half or two thirds in one piece.  Then it found all the other bits and ate them too.

Roy Harvey
Beacon Falls, CT

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