A Great Blue Heron’s reaction to a Great Egret’s intrusion

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Pinellas County/A Great Blue Heron’s reaction to a Great Egret’s intrusion

Great Egret close upGreat Egret close up – Nikon D200, handheld, f8, 1/1000, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Back in March of 2009 while I was photographing a Great Blue Heron on the north beach of Fort De Soto County Park in Florida a Great Egret flew in and walked close to the Great Blue Heron and me. Sitting there with two very sharp-billed birds can be a little nerve wracking especially when you see the bills magnified through a telephoto lens. The Great Egret wasn’t paying me or the Great Blue Heron much attention at all, it only seemed to have looking for prey on its mind.

Squawking Great Blue HeronSquawking Great Blue Heron – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, not baited

The Great Blue Heron; on the other hand, didn’t seem to care for the intruder at all and squawked as soon as the Great Egret got within about 10 feet of the Great Blue.  I don’t think the Great Blue Heron appreciated the Great Egret horning in on its hunting territory.

I wondered if I might see a fight between the two large wading birds and I really didn’t think I would have enjoyed a front row seat to that kind of altercation especially because of those dagger sharp bills. The Great Egret ignored the Great Blue and continued north on the shoreline of the Gulf looking for prey and the Great Blue Heron settled back down.

Back in January of this year I had written another post about these Two Great Birds and wanted to share a bit more about them today.

Photographing the Great Blue Heron’s reaction to a Great Egret’s intrusion was interesting.



  1. Julie G. November 22, 2013 at 8:08 am

    These two close-up shots are fantastic, Mia! So glad they did not get into an altercation with you in between.

    I will be heading down to Florida soon and Fort De Soto County Park is a destination I am so excited to visit. Over the years, I have seen your beautiful bird photographs from the park and only hope I can view some of the stunning wildlife you have captured so beautifully with your camera.

  2. Bryce November 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    You know how much I love close up shots of Ardeids, Mia! What a great experience. Next time you head to Fort de Soto, can I come!?

  3. Montanagirl November 20, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Marvelous head shots of two majestic birds.

  4. Elephant's Child November 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Both beautiful. And I am glad that there was a bit of posturing but no attack in this encounter.

  5. Utahbooklover November 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I like that close-up of the Great Egret and the Great Blue Heron too. If you would like to see some Tundra Swans, check out this video: http://vimeo.com/79751216

  6. Sherry in MT November 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Absolutely adore that shot of the egret – a bird I’ve not seen. Love the colors!

  7. Kathie November 20, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Mia, what magnificent details in these portraits! Most people never get such a close look at these marvelous birds!

  8. Patty Chadwick November 20, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Wonderful pictures, as usual…and interesting comments. They remind me how lucky so many if us are in our feeding, and how tough it can be for other species… many if whom must search all day long trying to find food.

  9. M. Firpi November 20, 2013 at 6:31 am

    I remember these encounters and their grunting sounds as they fight for hunting grounds.

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