Umbrellas For Hunting

Black herons and many other herons and egrets sometimes stand looking into the water with wings spread in the shape of an umbrella. This casts a shadow over the water. Scientists thought the birds did this because they could see their prey better in the shade than in the glare of sunlight on the water. However birds also do this on cloudy days. Scientists believe the shadow fools fish into thinking they have found a safe place. When fish swim into the shadow of a big bird's "umbrella," the heron quickly snatches a meal.

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