As I was watching this Great Egret from my truck, it jabbed its bill into the shoreline waters of Lake Martin and came up with a fish. However, it barely had it by the tail.
In a matter of seconds, the fish was free of the egret’s bill. (Look closely at the lower left corner of the next image.)
Neither while watching the egret live nor later while browsing through its photos could I tell what actually happened—did the fish make a lucky escape or did the egret intentionally drop it to gain a better grip? In any case, the egret quickly snapped the fish out of the air, grabbing it over the middle of its body.
The egret quickly swallowed the fish but, alas, I did not catch that on camera.
A tighter crop of the photo immediately above adds a clue to what happened. Apparently the fish’s tail had snapped off, allowing it to escape from the egret’s initial grip. Without a tail, however, becoming an egret snack was perhaps a merciful ending for the fish.
It seems, dear reader, that my blog is overpopulated with photos of Great Egrets, and I apologize for any boredom that may cause. Sometimes it seems to me that South Louisiana itself is overpopulated with Great Egrets. They are year-round residents, so we see lots of them when many of the other species of wading birds are long gone from our area. As far as I am concerned, the Great Egret could have been declared the state bird instead of the Brown Pelican, for I see many more of the former than of the latter.
The location from which these photos were taken is shown on the map below. Zoom in for more detail.