The article about the great blue herons {Metro 2, Aug. 14} interests me tremendously because I spend much of the year along the Florida gulf coast sharing living space with this beautiful bird.

I can attest to one way the bird survives despite human encroachment onto his property. Every house dweller in our area, which is laced with waterways, has at least one at his doorstep morning and evening to cadge a meal. Let the lovely, but smaller and shyer, white egret come by for his share, and he'll be chased off with a screeching and flapping of wings. My poodle is jealous of our visitor, but no amount of barking can drive "big blue" away.

Every fisherman in Florida knows he'll never fish alone. Let him bring his gear and his bait, and there is that long beak peering over his shoulder. I have seen the bird try to snatch fish right off the line.

Few Floridians resent the bird's brass. The beaches and waterways and the marshlands filled in for man's houses were his territory first. Doubtless the great blue heron will be breeding and living there long after we're gone. MARY HOEHLING Bethesda