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Feathered fisherman

Posted: Thursday, Dec 27th, 2012


(Photo by Larry Coonrod)


A great blue heron hunts along Big Creek in Newport Thursday afternoon. The plume feathers seen along the heronís back were popular adornments for ladies hats in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the herons were nearly hunted into extinction to satisfy the demand. The Migratory Bird Act of 1918 protected herons, and their numbers began increasing. Widespread use of the pesticide DDT in the 1960s reduced heron populations again. Today, great blue herons are abundant throughout North America. Their greatest threat is loss of wetland habitat.

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