Great Egrets are nothing like the bigger Great Blue Herons. The Herons are fairly calm, solid citizens of the swamps. Egrets are constant chaos, and not always a good kind.
These images are a typical confrontation between Egrets. The title ‘Arial Combat’ fits them well.
In claiming territory anything goes. The long sharp claws are dangerous weapons.
How an Egret chooses who to attack is a mystery. A bird can be sitting quiet and then suddenly mayhem flies in.
The aggressive bird has the advantage and most times the target quickly leaves, unless it is their nest.
In the air both birds are so agile they frequently dodge and miss each other completely.
The images above exhibit an in air circling, neither bird making contact.
One chases the other and in short order lands back where he started.
However… it’s only a matter of time until the aggressor is another birds target. It starts all over again.
This continues each afternoon until the eggs hatch. After that they are much too busy protecting their small nest and hunting food.