Follow for more talkers

Animals

Dramatic moment hungry heron snatches rat from water

Herons are predators, hunting for fish, reptiles, insects and small mammals and are known to be opportunistic.

Published

on
Remarkable pictures show the dramatic moment a hungry heron swooped down and tried to fly away with a giant rat. (Michael Auton via SWNS)

By Adam Dutton via SWNS

Remarkable pictures shows the dramatic moment a hungry heron snatched a rat in its beak at a nature reserve.

Michael Auton captured the scenes while taking pictures of herons swooping overhead at Shibdon Pond in Blaydon, England.

The dad-of-two was stunned when he suddenly saw a young heron dive into a pond and grab a large rat by the scruff of the neck last Thursday, September 29.

The shots show the bird desperately try and take off with the rodent in its beak but it proves too heavy and the critter manages to scurry away.

Herons are predators, hunting for fish, reptiles, insects and small mammals and are known to be opportunistic.

Remarkable pictures show the dramatic moment a hungry heron swooped down and tried to fly away with a giant rat. (Michael Auton via SWNS)
« of 4 »

“It was definitely case of being in the right place at the right time," said Michael, 44, a software engineer.

“I think it looks to be a youngish heron but I’m no expert. From where I was standing I saw the heron dive into the water before trying to get something in its beak.

“It looked like the rat was either too heavy or the rat was putting up a fight for it.

“The majority of the pond has ducks, geese and other things like that. There are three or four herons.

“When a heron appears, it is certainly something different in the crowd.

“Reading up on it, herons will eat anything or giving anything a go. They will look for anything.

“The pond being so low has probably forced the heron to try for the rat. "

Shibdon Pond nature reserve has suffered from extremely low water levels over the summer making it more difficult for wildlife to thrive.

Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email licensing@swns.com or submit an inquiry via our contact form.

Top Talkers