Photo of the Week - February 4, 2013

Great Blue Heron plunges its head into Nisqually Estuary
while hunting for lugworms

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Olympia, WA
February 4, 2013

Lugworms live in U-shaped tubes beneath the mud of the Nisqually Delta. Lugworms leave castings of mud that has passed through their guts which are visible on the muddy surface. My friend and I watched this Heron for over an hour as it ate at least a dozen of the worms, which can be up to 7.75 inches in length.

One fascinating lugworm fact - the lifespan of a lugworm is estimated to be 5-6 years!

Great Blue Heron with lugworm
Nisqually Refuge