On March 29 I spent the afternoon photographing birds from the boardwalks at the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center in Texas. As the light was waning, I noticed a Great Blue Heron standing beneath one of the boardwalks.
It didn’t seem to be fishing, but I suppose herons rarely ignore a nearby fish. This one certainly didn’t. Fifteen seconds later it plunged into the water…
and came up with an astonishingly large fish!
I’m often amazed by some of the things that birds can swallow, but this fish seemed too big for even the most determined heron. Apparently the heron thought so too. The heron carried the fish away from the water…
and dropped it.
When I left the Birding and Nature Center several minutes later, I walked across the boardwalk under which the heron had been standing. The fish lay dying on the mudflat below.
Early the next morning I returned to the spot where the heron had dropped the fish. The fish was gone. I had expected to see fresh seagull tracks, and was surprised to find these tracks instead.
Later in the morning I noticed a fish head lying on the mud about twenty meters from the spot where the heron had dropped the fish.
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