Monday, December 6, 2010
Two shots of a great egret capturing its prey in a field at the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility. Watching these birds stalk around fields is always interesting, as they stealthy move forward, very carefully placing each footfall. Then you know when they've spotted something, since they tend to crane their neck for a better view, as well as very carefully move to the perfect striking range.
Before this encounter, I had never seen an egret catch something at this close range before. At the time, it didn't necessarily strike me too much emotionally, it was simply an experience with the necessary components of nature. Predators need to capture and consume prey to survive, and prey species do their best to avoid this fate. When I started reviewing the images though, I couldn't help but feel sad for the rodent. The expression it had while struggling for its life just moments before being eaten certainly struck a chord with me (a cropped version is below).