Friday, 6 December 2013

An Egret catches a fish

Eastern Great Egret with catch, White-faced Heron in background.
I live just near Giralang Pond, a small artificial pond on Ginninderra Creek. The outflow from the small weir that creates the pond is a favourite haunt of White-faced Herons and Eastern Great Egrets, especially after a bit of rain. Yesterday I found an Eastern Great Egret struggling with a rather sizable catch.

I know next to nothing about fish, but judging by the reddish fins, I would guess that the catch was a Redfin Perch, an introduced noxious pest.

The fish was thrashing about and the Egret was clearly struggling with it.

The Egret soon decided to fly to a perch in a nearby Casuarina...

...where it continued to struggle with the fish.

The fish appeared to be still alive while the bird kept its hold trying to manoeuvre the fish to go down head first. 

This went on for several minutes.

Meanwhile the White-faced Heron waited patiently for its luck to turn.

Eventually after more than 5 minutes, the Egret managed to swallow its catch.

The exceptionally long and thin neck of the Egret doesn't look big enough to allow the passage of such a large meal, but it appears unscathed.

1 comment:

  1. great pics Duncan. Anne and I saw something similar at West Belconnen Pond last week - a white necked heron had a large-ish fish and took quite some time to get it into right position to be able to swallow it! sandra h