Photo Break: Reddish egret

“Ya put yer birdblog in, ya take yer birdblog out, ya put yer birdblog in, and ya post it all about…”  Story behind the photo below the break.

Reddish egret

Reddish egret

A while ago, I tossed up a Photo Break post describing how egrets and herons typically fish for prey; i.e. they stand stock-still in the shallows or on a perch until something swims by, at which point the bird’s head darts in and out of the water at incredible speed and comes up holding food.  I mentioned that there was one notable exception to this general rule in the Gulf Coast area.

Pictured above is the exception, courtesy of The Ding.

Feeding

Reddish egret, feeding

A reddish egret also fishes in the shallows, but it doesn’t stand remotely still.  It spreads its wings out parallel to the surface and runs/hops frantically for a few yards in a straight line, then turns around and does the same thing along its previous path, a few feet to the side.  The first pass is to scare fish outward to either side of it, using both its legs and the shadows of its wings; the second pass is to pick up the newly gathered crowds of fish on one side of the path it just cleared.  As a method of fishing, it’s considerably more…aggressive, no?

Not especially graceful, but funny as all get-out to watch.

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