We went out for lunch the other day at a funky old Florida place on the Intracoastal Waterway called Pop's Sunset Grill. We really like it on a nice day. You can sit outside in the sun, sip a cool drink, munch on a fish sandwich, and watch the boats go by.
This time we were joined by a rather unusually tame yellow crowned night heron. He noticed the french fries in my basket were not getting gobbled up and apparently thought he could help out with that. I pointed out a number of times the sign that was directly behind me: "DO NOT feed the birds! PLEASE!" He was quite pushy in his campaign to get me to believe that the sign referred to the gulls, not to a fine specimen such as himself. He was practically on my shoulder eyeballing those fries (which cannot be good for a heron's general health). Mike, always the soft touch when it comes to animals, did slip him some shrimp tails, and I have to say the bird was very polite about snatching them up.
When our stuff was cleared away, he moved on to the neighboring table where a man and two women were finishing up their lunches. One of the women freaked out, huddling into the wall in apparent terror. The other woman kept flapping at the bird, yelling, "Get away!" Of course, all the arm flapping meant to the bird was that she must be throwing it some food so it kept getting closer (kind of funny to watch). Then the man had to get up and start kicking at the bird (not funny to watch). I hope next time that trio chooses an indoor restaurant.