Here, the first thing to greet us as we arrived at this marsh. Loud, and certainly a step beyond a typical territorial squabble. It’s easy to forget these big beautiful birds are predators.
I’ve tried to narrow the fighting down to as few photographs as possible. Images best viewed large as I shot wide since they were a fast moving target.
With the first shots I wasn’t sure just what was happening since I literally jumped out onto the dike. I wasn’t even sure there were two birds at first. However look closely and a birds head was hanging on another’s wing.
Now I could see each was holding the other under water.
Above a bird came up and coughed out water.
I’ve seen how they will stand on another before to end a disagreement. These two however did not stop which is very unusual.
Finally they separated as much to get a breath as anything else. It was still loud.
They didn’t resume fighting once they separated.
It ended in what looked like a draw. Both profiled, the aggressive stance, and moved away from each other.
Great Blues usually reserve this intense aggression to mating rivals and other species… especially Egrets.
Both survived with no visible wounds.
What a way to start a day’s shooting.