Merwin: Even Birds Use Bread for Bait

This is not a report from the SHOT show. That's because as Field & Stream's fishing columnist, I only do "wet" work and am therefore not thrown into the claustrophobic madness of a trade show devoted to hunting and firearms. So don't pay the ransom. I've escaped. Meanwhile, and on the angling side, I just encountered this video of what appears to be a small heron actually fishing with bait. A little green heron, perhaps? Maybe some birders out there can help with identification.

Anyway, note that the bird is effectively "casting," repositioning the bait and trying different spots until it is able to lure a fish within range. I found this to be mind-boggling. I've watched other birds use what could be called tools in very primitive ways. A seagull, for example, will often fly up and drop a clam or crab on some rocks where the impact will break open the shell.

We sometimes think of ourselves as skilled anglers. But who among you is more skilled than this primitive little bird?