If anyone ever wondered why Night Herons showed up at a marsh here in Iowa, you only need to look at their preferred diet to understand why. It all comes down to crawdads. This marsh was loaded with them, and some were quite large. Sitting on the muddy shoreline you come to know the creatures that live here just a little bit better.
The assortment included a young mink, a raccoon family, tiny frogs, dragonflies, and a variety of shorebirds and herons.
Now most of the crustaceans stayed in the water and you might see one sitting on top of algae now and then…but only one sauntered out onto the mud like he owned the place. He was coated with stringy algae and hobbled along…only stopping to show his fierce side when he noticed some movement around him. Once a person stayed still for a bit, he would continue on his journey into the high grass.
He would make it to safety this time…but being exposed like this is risky…he would be easy pickings for a hungry heron. And they are always lurking…as evidenced by the old dismembered claw lying in front of him.