The Innovative Egret

egret with fishWading birds, I always assumed, stood quietly on long legs and waited patiently for tasty snacks to wander within range of their sharp beaks.

But recently I observed an interesting “grab ‘n go” technique by a hungry-looking snowy egret intent on snatching a ‘happy meal’ from a shallow pond.

He would launch himself from shore and glide low over the water.

snowy egret flying

Then, somewhat puzzlingly, he would drag his feet lightly across the surface.

egret dragging feet across wateregret dragging feet across water

egret walking on water

What’s that all about, I wondered?  Surely he can’t grab fish with his feet!

At times he almost seemed to be “walking on water.”

egret walking on water

Suddenly I understood.  At the last moment he would dig in and use his feet like rudders to maneuver his body and brake his momentum!

egret🙂 Brilliant strategy for the hunter, bad news for the hunted. 😦

egret snatching fishNOTE: I have since learned that this is actually a tried & true technique that goes by the name of “dip-fishing.”

8 Replies to “The Innovative Egret”

  1. I will never as long as I live be bored by your bird pictures and the stories that go with them. So beautiful, and brilliantly discerned. (That’s a fabulous first shot too with the worn dock wood in a swirl behind him, yellow bootkins, lovely textures).


    1. What I wish I could have brought out more clearly with a better angle on that first dock shot, Barbara, is the cruciform shape of the railing in the background. Might have suggested a crucifixion theme (“forgive them, father”) to the speared fish!


  2. Delicious meal for the inovative egret. Delicious photos for us mere mortals!!
    FANTASTIC post, John!!


      1. i love to see you work in both places. As for me, still there on flickr, just doing a lot more family stuff with the THREE grandchildren!!


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