The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons

The Other, Ugly, Side Of Great Blue Herons

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.

The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons
The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons

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.

The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons
The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons

Now I could see each was holding the other under water.

The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons
The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons

Above a bird came up and coughed out water.

The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons
The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons
The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons
The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons

I’ve seen how they will stand on another before to end a disagreement. These two however did not stop which is very unusual.

The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons
The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons
The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons
The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons

Finally they separated as much to get a breath as anything else. It was still loud.

The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons
The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons

They didn’t resume fighting once they separated.

The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons
The Other Side Of Great Blue Herons

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.

8 thoughts on “The Other, Ugly, Side Of Great Blue Herons”

  1. The photos are amazing and full of actions! Unique!
    I have never seen something like this before and never thought about Great Blues as the aggressive birds and predators. I learned today something new about them.

  2. Amazing, I have never seen a Heron agressive at all. I have seen the Egrets chase each other and do the stance with their heads up as they both eventually back away from each other. 🙂

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