Injured Tri-color Heron

Despite the knowledge that survival in the wild means that sometimes you are prey, sometimes predator and sometimes injured in the process, some things are still difficult to see. Along with the beautiful Louisiana Heron (Tricolor Heron) amid the lovely pond apples leaves I took last visit to the rookery, I also observed another of its species having been dealt a difficult card. A couple of other observers saw it first and pointed out the bird with only one leg. As I was about to say that birds often will tuck up one leg curling up the toes within the body feathers and appear one legged, the heron lowered its wounded limb. So it was ‘Oh, dear…it is wounded’ instead. I took a couple of shots of the bird before it flew off into the waters of the wetland. It appeared to be able to fend for itself despite the loss of its lower leg and foot but anything that puts wildlife at a disadvantage jeopardizes its ultimate survival. I have no idea what may have happened to cause its injury, whether one of the local gators I saw highly interested in some juvenile tri-colors along marshy waterline or some other accident or predator. It does seem like a tragic end to its breeding season…its colors here fading back to the normal non breeding appearance. But, this is a feisty species and it will go about its daily life attending to its own survival with great determination.


~ by Judy on July 19, 2015.

17 Responses to “Injured”

  1. Aw…that’s so sad. Recently we had a little humming bird, with a broken beak, perched on top of our feeder. It’s heartbreaking to see injured wildlife.

    • Seeing injured wildlife is definitely not something you want to see. The first time I saw a wounded Great Blue Heron was early in my experience watching them so I didn’t know what I was looking at. But, this birds I realized later had a tear in its throat such that what I think is the tongue falls out. When feeding hungry young or oneself this is a difficult injury. Click HERE and that will take you to the last of a few images of the injured parent feeding young. Scroll to the left for several pictures. Bu, anytime I do hate to see it as while injured animals do seem to survive admirably many times, they are just helpless to do other than make do and live with it.

  2. Heartbreaking, and yet…a testament to any creature’s will to survive. 😀

    • Hello Lynda Haviland!! Thanks for stopping by to comment! And, I agree it is a testament to survival in the wild, difficult as it is to witness.

  3. That’s an awful sight. But note, it is surviving. After all, the heron is noted for its one-legged stance.

    • Yeah, that is why at first view nothing looked abnormal to me. Until it lowered the other leg!! I figure the bird can survive pretty well with the leg injury, more so than if the wing were injured similarly. I hope that there is no pain presently with the situation.

  4. So sad to see this injury on such a magnificent bird, I hope it makes it.

    • I have high hopes that it will survive, be able to feed itself no problem and breed again next season. I will definitely be watching to see how it does when I visit again. It is such a delightfully lovely species.

  5. What a sweetheart… Life in the wild is incredibly hard, from the little that we’re witness to. It always provides such *perspective* for me, I’ve found.

    Here’s all the best wishes and love to this little beauty, and his / her continued survival and thriving out there.

    • Yeah, it does provide perspective! When I think how grateful I am to have doctors to patch me up when I might get injured. Think of the wonderful prosthetics we have for people who have injury to a limb. Its amazing! Wildlife mostly has to survive without intervention.

  6. I hope it will be able to survive and live to its normal end of life. In our backyard, there was once a tufted titmouse with an atrophied leg. It was very lively though, more so than the others of its kind.

  7. Breaks my heart to see this Judy nature can deal a cruel blow. I hope it survives. Beautiful picture.

  8. I’ve been watching an injured cardinal at my feeder for several weeks. When I first noticed the injury, it was standing on only one leg, and finding it a little difficult to get drinks of water. Lucky cardinal, that had someone to notice! I filled the birdbath right up to the tippy-top, and it was able to drink more easily.

    Over time, it began putting its foot down, tentatively at first, and then more surely. Now, it’s back to normal, and I’m so relieved.

    Of course, no such healing is possible for this one, but you’re right that a leg injury is less of an issue for them than a beak or a wing. It’s a beautiful photo, too.

  9. Ouch! Great capture, as it really does impact the viewer…my legs aches 🙂 It is something else to see wild animals adapting to what comes their way with injuries, and while I feel a bit sad for them it also makes me admire their spirit as well.

    • That is definitely the truth of it. We hate to see it but have to admire the instinct for survival and the ability to adapt to an injury. When I think of how I overthink minor things like pulled muscles or cuts and scratches wondering if you put ice on it or heat or if you should smother it with antibiotic ointment or soak it in Epsom salts!! You have to admire what wild animals must do because they have to!

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