Killer French Canal Fish

Usually - BIRDS eat FISH. 
Not the other way around. 

Here, the catfish swallow pigeons - and doves - whole.

The building on the right - used to be the communal laundry. 

I mentioned this in the previous blog post. 
Here's the rest of the story:

It usually happens at the "lavoir", the medieval laundry area on the banks of the canal. 
In the evenings.

Lavoir - scene of impending doom - on the left.

One moment, the birds are peacefully taking a drink at the side of the canal.
Maybe even dipping their bird-feet into the water.

The next moment - a streak of silver, one large SPLASH - !
And - no more pigeon.

Not a feather, not a crooked birdie foot.

Nothing but a ripple of water.

No wonder the ducks are up on the towpath these days.

This fish is BIG.
He's really good at catching birds.

Even the ducks are worried.

The pigeons don't stand a chance.

"Muddy Waters" is the boat beside us. What are the chances? And they're great people!

So we began to look into it. 

Iris - visiting from Berlin with Mikey and Noah - found a video - and an explanation.

Mikey and Iris, waving their baguette from the bridge. Stan on the towpath, rolling up the "utilities". 

Turns out - these are large catfish, and - this is new behavior for them.
At times, the catfish comes entirely out of the water. 

Some catfish are successful 80% of the time! 

- One study at the University of Toulouse counted 52 attacks in 72 hours.
These fish are BUSY.

Across from us on the boat, it happens most every evening.
It's a bit disconcerting.
Sometimes we have to rescue the injured bird.

(Sometimes it's simply - R.I.P. pigeon.)

The barge Hatuey comes through. Oblivious to pigeon peril.

Meanwhile, happy Bastille Day!

See? We're still learning something new - every day.