Slaty Heron using umbrella technique
This Green Heron shows some real learning behavior, it actually feeds bread to fish to catch it. The method succeeds, a true testimony to bird cognition. The most amazing is, it seems to be hungry but does not eat the bread like the surrounding Ibises do. I have never seen this kind of smart behavior in any of the long-legged ciconiformes. The performing bird is a Green Heron closely related to the Black or Umbrella Heron. The latter also uses an unconventional hunting technique by bending its wings like an umbrella. This way it creates a patch of shadow in the shallow water. Unsuspecting fish looking for some relief are than easily caught. This behavior is featured on the not so good picture I shot in the Gambia. No question the bread fishing is learned behavior, but what or who was the example? Simply amazing to see a Heron using some kind of tool.