A hungry great blue heron is being hailed as a hero in New York for handling one of the city’s most thankless tasks: rat disposal.

Footage of the big bird blew up on Twitter after being posted on the Manhattan Bird Alert feed on Sunday:

It took the Great Blue Heron only a few seconds to lift the rat, once killed, out of the water and swallow it—this morning at the Central Park Pond. pic.twitter.com/E4Vx0ya8od

— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) September 5, 2021

Herons are known for their appetites. One was caught on camera last year eating a baby alligator. Another was seen snagging a good-sized catfish. Yet another bit off more than it could swallow when an eel it had eaten literally burst from its stomach mid-flight.

“They can take down big fish and also apparently, big rats!” David Barrett, founder of Manhattan Bird Alert, told the New York Post of the latest video. “They eat whatever they can catch!”

Right now, there’s plenty for these winged crusaders to catch in Gotham. New York is ranked third on the list of “rattiest cities” by pest control company Orkin. Rodent complaints increased in the spring as pandemic restrictions eased.

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